Long story short: they were yummy, but not yummy enough to justify the effort (and mess) involved.
Longer version: 4lb beef short ribs marinated for 24hrs (turned three times) in a bottle of wine boiled with orange zest, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic. Browned in a stand-in dutch oven in three batches. Marinade reduced (twice) and combined with chicken stock and veggies, then the whole thing in the oven for 3.5 hours. Post-braise, strained the braising liquid, defatted (which is a pain), then boiled some more to reduce. Etc etc. Good, but not good enough to do again.
Next time I’ll forego the ribs and just get a bunch of stewing beef (less fat, no bones). Marinate for half the time then cook it up in the slow-cooker all day. Less fuss, less mess, less fat, probably just about the same result.
As I’ve said before, if it’s not simple, I probably won’t bother doing it more than once unless the result is spectacular. This one I won’t bother doing again. I should have known from the recipe, really — a half page of ingredients and a three stage process that (done properly) would have happened over three days.
For half the price and a tenth of the effort, I could have done pork ribs, and probably enjoyed them more. Definitely a learning experience 🙂