Lentil and Short-Rib Stew

Lentil And Short Rib Stew
3 generous servings
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3 pounds short ribs, cut into 3-inch pieces
Oil for browning ribs
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 small stalk celery chopped
1 cup dried lentils, washed and picked over
1/4 teaspoon thyme or oregano
1 cup elbow macaroni, cooked (optional)

1. Brown short ribs in the same heavy pot you will be using for the stew. Add water, salt, bay leaf, garlic, onion and celery. Simmer, covered, until meat is tender, about two hours.

2. Add lentils and thyme and continue cooking, stirring often, until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes longer. Correct seasonings and add macaroni, if using. Reheat. This is also wonderful served over rice if not using the macaroni.

3. If the bones have separated from the short ribs, remove them before serving.