If you have the time and forethought, beef short ribs benefit greatly from advance salting (see Step 2). This mini-cure will tighten the meat a bit, improving its texture, help it to brown more readily in the first step of the braise, and deepen its hearty taste. If there’s no time for advance salting, simply skip Step 2 below, seasoning with a bit of salt along with the black pepper as directed. If you braise the short ribs ahead of time (from a few hours to a full two days) and then glaze them just before serving, the dish will taste even better. The flavors meld and develop as the ribs sit. Simply complete the recipe through Step 9 up to 2 days before you plan to serve them. Pour the strained and reduced braising liquid over the ribs, let cool, cover, and refrigerate. To serve, reheat, covered with foil, in a 350-degree oven until just heated through, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and heat the broiler. Brush on the glaze and proceed as directed in Step 10.
BROWNING THE SHORT RIBS UNDER A BROILER
You can also sear the ribs under the broiler, not in the braising pan on top of the stove. In place of Step 4, preheat the broiler on high and adjust the oven rack so that it sits about 6 inches from the flames or heating element. Arrange the ribs 1 to 2 inches apart on a rimmed baking sheet (a half sheet pan) or broiler pan, and slide them under the broiler. Broil, turning with tongs as each side browns, until sizzling and chestnut brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter, without stacking. Pour off and discard the grease remaining in the pan, and deglaze to capture any precious caramelized beef drippings: Set the pan over medium-high heat, add a small amount of ale, stock, or water, and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up and dissolve the drippings. Reserve this liquid. Heat 1 tablespoon oil (you will only need 1 tablespoon in all if using this method) in a medium Dutch oven or other heavy braising pot (4-quart) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot to the pot and continue with Step 5 as directed above. In Step 6, add the deglazing liquid from the broiler pan, along with any meat juices, when you add the short ribs.