Modified from a Williams Sonoma recipe
6 bone-in beef short ribs, 5-5.5 lb total
salt and pepper, to taste
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tb plus 1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups beef stock
1-2 cups water
1 head garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
3 large carrots, peeled and cut up into chunks
1/2 to 1 can tomato paste
Preheat oven to 350.
Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Spread the flour on a plate. Dredge the ribs in flour, coating all sides. Shake off the excess. I usually skip the dredging.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until nearly smoking. Add half the ribs and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining ribs.
Remove the pot from the heat, pour off the excess oil, and stir in the chopped garlic and cumin. I often add onions here as well. Add tomato paste and stir constantly until it is cooked. Return the ribs to the pot and set over medium-high heat. Add the stock and enough water to almost cover the ribs and bring to a boil.
Add the prunes. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes. Add the whole garlic cloves and carrots and bake until the meat is just tender, about 1 hour more.
Uncover the pot and bake until the meat and carrots are very tender and the liquid is reduced to a flavorful sauce, about 30 minutes more.
This is a good meal to make the day before, as the fat can easily be scraped off the top when the dish is chilled.
Serve with a crusty bread.