Never feel guilty when purchasing an inexpensive cut of meat... magic can still be created in the kitchen. When challenging myself in the kitchen, I strive to create meals that 1) people enjoy a certain food that they have never enjoyed before and 2) using produce in season to create best flavors, as well as cut costs.
Enter in, short ribs.
Absolutely essential to sear the short ribs before throwing into the oven. Why? Because without the sealed crust, the meat will simply boil... not developing a caramelized, rich flavor.
Be sure to season the short ribs, then sauté in olive oil. Use a large roundeau (large, round pot with handles) to saute the meat. Slice an entire head of garlic in half, then add to pot. Add 1 tsp tomato puree and allow to disperse... this is known as "cooking out." If you simply add the tomato puree, then stick into the oven, it will create a bitter flavor...
Add red wine and reduce by half. Then add either beef or chicken stock... about held-way up the meat. Bring to a boil, then cover the pan with tin foil and stick into the oven. Allow to slow-cook for about 2 hours... until falling off the bone.
For the garnish... fry up small slices of pancetta, then add mushrooms... any variety. Cooking the pancetta and mushrooms separately from the meat will allow them to have a crispy texture... which will compliment the fall-off-the-bone tenderness of the shot rib.
Once cooked, remove the short ribs from the oven. Push the garlic head through a sieve and strain the entire sauce.
When plating... granted, yes... this is a "brown meal." But even though the neutral-theme is not a rainbow of vibrant colors... respect the ingredients. Rather than slopping it onto a plate, carefully spoon the mushroom/pancetta mixture onto the center of the plate... top with the braised short rib (carefully... it will be falling apart... in a brilliant way!) and gently spoon the sauce a top the entire dish. Rather than adding an edible flower (way too delicate for this dish), top with some fresh rosemary... bring a subtle hint of needed vibrancy and color.
Not too shabby, eh?
Love y'all dearly!