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Short Ribs

8 (1-pound each) meaty single-rib portions beef short ribs, sawed crosswise in half by the butcher

1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium celery ribs, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black peppercorns
3 (3-inch) strips orange zest (removed from orange with a vegetable peeler)
2 (750 ml) bottles hearty red wine, such as Zinfandel
2 quarts veal stock
1 1/2 cups pitted Nicoise olives
4 anchovy fillets, chopped

In a large nonreactive pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, thyme, peppercorns and orange zest. Add the wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cool the marinade completely. Place the short ribs in a large nonreactive bowl and add the cooled marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight, preferably 24 hours.

Strain the marinade into a large nonreactive pot and discard the solids. Bring the marinade to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced by one-fourth, 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the short ribs in a large, flameproof nonreactive casserole (such as enameled cast iron). Add the reduced marinade and the veal stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and bake until the beef is very tender and pulling from the bones, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Transfer the beef to a platter and cool. Discard the bones, trim away any excess fat, and return the beef to the casserole. Meanwhile, skim off and discard the fat on the surface of the cooking liquid. Strain the sauce into a large nonreactive pot and bring to a boil over medium heat-high. Add the olives and anchovies. Cook, skimming often, until the sauce reduces and is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 30 minutes. Pour the sauce over the short ribs. (The short ribs can be prepared up to 1 day in advance, cooled, covered, and refrigerated.)

Assembly:
Bring the short ribs and sauce to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the short ribs are heated through, about 10 minutes. Spoon a portion of the potato pure onto the centers of 8 warmed dinner plates, and top each with the short ribs.

Spoon the sauce around the potatoes.


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