The key to getting incredibly rich flavor in a sauce made from water is to create tasty browned bits on the bottom of the pan. To ensure you create those bits, use a stainless steel skillet—not a nonstick pan.
1 1/2 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed (4 ribs)
3 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup chopped carrot (about 1 large)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 quarts water
8 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
How to Make It
Sprinkle beef evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Add 2 1/2 cups water, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove beef from pan; cover and keep warm. Remove cooking liquid from pan; reserve cooking liquid.
Heat skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add carrot and onion; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Stir in reserved cooking liquid; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Bring 3 quarts water and remaining 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add noodles; cook 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain; serve noodles with ribs and sauce.