Low, slow cooking makes for delicious deep flavor and fall-off-the-bone goodness in this classic man-magnet dish served over a veggie-rich pilaf. Beef belongs in this plant-forward dinner as folks who eat meat are more likely to eat more fruit and veggies.
Preheat oven to 325°F (160C). Pat ribs dry; season all over with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook ribs, in batches, until browned all over. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Add carrots, celery, onion, rosemary and fennel seed (if using). Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in wine, scraping up any cooked on browned bits; simmer until reduced by half. Stir in garlic. Add broth, tomatoes and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
Return ribs to the pot, along with any accumulated juices. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook, turning every 45 minutes, for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is very tender. Cook uncovered for the final 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Skim as much fat as possible off the top of sauce; discard.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Cook mushrooms, onion and thyme for 7 to 10 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Stir in farro and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or liquid is absorbed and farro is tender. Stir in spinach, peas and Parmesan. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes or until wilted and heated through.
Divide pilaf evenly among eight plates. Top each serving with a short rib. Stir vinegar into sauce; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon sauce over each rib. Sprinkle with parsley.
• Serve with 1 lb (500 g) trimmed and steamed green beans tossed with fresh lemon juice.
• Farro can be replaced with 1 cup brown rice or barley.
• Use a variety of mushrooms in the risotto, such as cremini, shiitake and king oyster.