1 Large Yellow Onion , sliced or julienne (half for braising, half for bake build)
1 Parsnip , peeled
5 Small Carrots (Organic preferred for flavor), peeled, cut in half
4 Full Size Zucchini , peeled into thin wide layers for bake
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes , cut in half lengthwise
1 Bunch Thyme , whole
1 Clove Garlic , peeled
1 Bunch Fresh Basil , whole leaf
Olive Oil , to taste
Salt & Pepper , to taste
Splash of Red Wine , if preferred
You will need: One pie sized baking dish, or bread loaf shaped pan, ceramic or glass preferred, greased with Olive Oil (tallow, lard or butter will also work). One Braising Pot, or Dutch Oven.
Pull the Short Ribs from the fridge and rest on plate, salt generously, as they warm up the salt will start to season the beef. Preheat oven at 300° F. Turn the burner on for the dutch oven to medium, or depending on your stove’s strength, warm enough to sear the beef. Dress the bottom of the pan with olive oil, butter or tallow. When it starts to run easily the pan is hot and ready to sear the beef. Sear the beef, top side down (opposite of bones), until dark golden brown and crispy. You’ll be able to hear the fat crackling.
Once finished, pull them back out to rest, while adding your braising vegetables to the pan to sauté in the fat-½ Onion, Carrots, Parsnip, Plum Tomatoes, Garlic, Thyme, once browned, deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine. If skipping the wine, add back in the short ribs, top side up, and pour in your two quarts of stock. Add in a generous sprinkle of salt. Cover and braise at 300° for five hours.
Once the braising has finished, you may pull your ribs out to cool, strain your braising liquid, and put it back in to the dutch oven, at med-high to reduce into a sauce, add the other half of your onion here. While your ribs cool, you can peel your zucchini. The zucchini will be your layers for the bake, and no need for a mandolin, a wide set peeler (I used a Kuhn-Rikon) will do the job. Peel the zucchini, discarding the outside, thin layers, and keeping the wide, meaty layers.
Once your ribs are cool enough to handle you can start pulling the meat, shredding it like you would pork for tacos. Once you're ready to build your bake, you can grease your pan with olive oil, butter or tallow. Set your first layer of zucchini to cover the bottom and sides, then add your first layer of beef (about half), then drizzle some sauce and onions. Add another layer of zucchini ribbons, then more beef, sauce and onions. Top with one last layer of zucchini.
Take your pint of halved cherry tomatoes, toss in olive oil and salt, drizzle across the top of your bake, and put in the oven at 300° for about 30 minutes, or until you can see the juices bubbling. Pull out and let set for about 15 minutes before serving, add basil leaves, slice as preferred and enjoy! Drizzle extra sauce if desired.