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Short Ribs Smothered In Onions

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
6 pounds beef short ribs
2 tablespoons flour
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 bottle dry red wine
1 bunch parsley stems
1 teaspoon juniper berries
2 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1-inch piece of fresh horseradish, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Set the oven at 350 degrees.

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Dust the short ribs with flour.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add a few of the short ribs, pushing the onions aside. Brown them in batches, turning often, and removing them from the pan so more will fit. Return all the ribs to the pan.

Add the tomatoes and red wine. Bring to a boil.

In a large piece of cheesecloth, wrap the parsley stems, juniper berries, cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Tie the cloth.

Add the cheesecloth pouch to the short ribs, cover with the lid, and transfer to the hot oven. Cook the ribs for 1 hour.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Skim off any fat that has accumulated on the surface of the dish. Add the celery root and horseradish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Re-cover the pan and return it to the oven. Cook the ribs for 2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Discard the cheesecloth pouch. Transfer the ribs and vegetables to a bowl and cover tightly with foil. Pour the cooking juices into another bowl and cover with foil. Refrigerate both for at least several hours or as long as 2 days.

Set the oven at 350 degrees.

Skim the fat from the cooking juices and pour them into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce it by about half. Put the ribs into a baking dish that holds them snugly. Add the sauce and cover with foil. Reheat the dish for 30 minutes or until the meat is heated through. Serve at once.

Serves 6

By Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven, Globe Staff

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