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Byline: Michael Hastings
Feb. 28--When people think of ribs in North Carolina, they inevitably think of pork. As good as pork ribs are, their dominance leaves their beefy cousins wallowing in near obscurity.
That's unfortunate, because beef short ribs are one of the tastiest cuts on the planet.
The late Edna Lewis, a Southern culinary legend, is said to have not cared for beef in general. But she made an exception for beef short ribs. She loved the rich, intense flavor, and cooks in the know do, too. As professional chefs have added more homey, comfort foods to their repertoires in recent years, short ribs have made small inroads on restaurant menus.
Short ribs are best enjoyed now while winter keeps temperatures low, in braised dishes that transform a tough cut of meat into a bit of superlative succulence.
Short ribs come from three parts of a steer: the chuck, rib and plate. No matter what section they come from, all short ribs are cut from the 12 ribs that start at the back and curve down around the belly.
The chuck is actually the shoulder. The rib is the top section just behind the chuck, and the plate is the lower section underneath the rib.
In stores, the packages of short ribs typically won't pinpoint the section of the steer, though supermarkets tend to sell short ribs from the chuck, which is said to have the most …