Cut from beef chuck, short ribs are rectangles of beef layered with fat and pieces of rib bone. Short ribs are a less-tender cut, and they benefit from slow, moist cooking. Have the butcher cut them in about 2-inch lengths.
Use your favorite fruity red wine instead of a Zinfandel; try Beaujolais or Lambrusco. For a nonalcoholic substitute, use cranberry juice.
Browning the short ribs before baking adds another layer of flavor to the finished recipe. Browning them also helps to reduce fat; drain the browned ribs well and blot them with paper towels before baking them.