Preheat the oven to 350°. Pat dry:
3 pounds beef short ribs, excess fat trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried herbs (marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, thyme or sage)
Heat in a dutch oven or large heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, beef fat, or bacon fat.
Add the ribs in batches, being careful not to crowd the pot, and brown well on all sides. Remove the ribs with a slotted spoon. Pour of all but about 2 tablespoons fat from the pot.
Add and cook, stirring over medium heat just until the vegetables begin to color, about 10 minutes:
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of dried herbs (the same herbs used to season the meat)
Add and bring to a boil:
1 1/2 cups beef or poultry stock or broth
Return the short ribs to the pot. Add:
2 to 3 bay leaves
Cover and bake until the ribs are tender and the meat pulls away easily from the bone, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the ribs to a platter and cover to keep warm. Skim off any fat from the surface of the liquid, and reduce over high heat until the sauce is syrupy. Serve the ribs with the sauce.