I found this very flavorful recipe in Everyday Food a year or so ago. I adapted for our tastes and serve it to suit my mood. I plate with a beautiful sweet potato mash when I'm feeling very Southern, but when I'm longing for the Italian comfort foods of River Cafe in London, I just serve it on a lovely bed of polenta and side of braised cavolo nero. Perfection! —cheryl
Preheat oven at 275. Liberally season the ribs with the salt and pepper and heat oil in a large dutch oven on high heat. Brown ribs on all sides, about 3 - 4 minutes on each side and transfer ribs to a plate. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil/fat from the pot.
Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin, and star anise to pot at medium heat. Scrape up all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and cook for about 10 minutes.
Return the ribs to the pot along with broth and 2 cups of the root beer. Bring the pot to a rolling simmer, cover pot with lid and place in oven for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, remove lid and raise oven to 300 degrees. Cook for 1 more hour or until meat appears to be falling away from the bone. With a slotted spoon carefully remove the ribs from the pot. Skim off the fat from the cooking liquid and sieve the broth through a fine mesh. return liquids and ribs to pot along with remaining 1/2 cup of root beer. Over a medium to high flame reduce the liquid to half. This takes about 20 minutes. Occasionally spoon the sauce over ribs until they are nicely glazed. Season with salt and pepper and serve.