Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot on top of the stove. Make sure the pot has a tight-fitting lid (aluminum foil is an alternative).
Season the short ribs with the salt and pepper. Put the oil in the hot pan, then carefully add the ribs to the pan. Brown them on all sides, then remove from the pan. Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pan and lightly brown.
Add the red wine and the port and cook until amount of wine is reduced by half. Place the ribs back into the pot along with the stock and herbs; it is important that the broth covers only halfway up the side of the ribs.
Cover pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Place the covered pot in the oven and cook for about 2 hours, turning the ribs occasionally. For the last half-hour of cooking, remove the lid. This will allow the sauce to reduce, thus enriching and thickening it at the same time. Removing the lid will also promote the development of a glossy, dark caramel-colored glaze which enhances the flavor and simple beauty of the dish.
Once the short ribs are tender, moist and properly glazed, they can be carefully removed to a serving platter and kept warm. The sauce should be strained and defatted (discard the solids). A simple way to defat the sauce is to place it in a saucepan and put the saucepan off-center on a burner. One side of the pot will gently simmer, pushing the fat to the opposite side, where it can be ladled or spooned off easily.
When the sauce is ready, pour it back over the short ribs. Serve with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots for a stick-to-your-ribs comfort dish.Makes 6 Source: