The best short ribs I've ever eaten are a recipe that was created by my dad. In my mind, he is a master at cooking low and slow. We made these ribs one afternoon while we were experiencing the winter blues. The fork-tender meat and hearty sauce make this the perfect comfort dish, while the balanced smokiness of the paprika, chicory stout and chipotle peppers evoke the scent of a backyard barbecue. —Constrained Cook
Heat the oil in a deep skillet or casserole over medium heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add them to the skillet and sear on each side until browned.
Remove the seared ribs from the pan. Add the dried chipotle peppers and diced bacon or smoked meat. Cook through and allow the fat to render.
Add the onions and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the carrots and fennel and cook until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the crushed tomatoes and allow them to slightly caramelize. Now add the liquids. Pour the beef broth and beer into the skillet (I highly recommend the Dogfish Head Chicory Stout).
Add the smoked paprika, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and add the short ribs back to the pan/casserole.
Cover and cook in the lower section of the oven for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for an additional 30 - 45 minutes or until the meat is fork-tender.
Remove the ribs and transfer to a separate plate. Skim the fat from the sauce and serve with the short ribs.