3 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, more as needed
1 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 white onions, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
Thyme or parsley leaves, for garnish (optional)
1. Season the meat all over with 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, paprika and orange zest. Let meat stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
2. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Tie the herbs and bay leaves in a bundle with kitchen string. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Place the short ribs in the pot and cook, without moving, until golden brown, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the remaining oil to the pot and let heat for 20 seconds. Add carrots, onions, celery and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook the vegetables, tossing occasionally, until golden brown around the edges and very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant. Pour in wine and add the bouquet garni. Bring the wine mixture to a simmer and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Nestle the meat on top of vegetables. Add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the meat. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook, turning every 30 minutes, until the meat is completely fork tender, about 2 1/2 hours. After 2 hours, uncover the pot so some of the liquid can evaporate and the sauce can thicken. Remove bouquet garni.
5. If you have time, let short ribs cool completely, then refrigerate overnight. This makes it easier to remove the fat from the top. Reheat the meat in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes before serving if necessary. If the sauce seems thin, remove meat from the pot and bring the liquid to a simmer. Let cook until it’s reduced to taste. Slice meat and serve with the vegetables and sauce, garnished with thyme leaves if you like.