Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium high-heat. Add the ground beef in two batches and sear until the meat is evenly browned being careful to break up any lumps. Set in a colander to drain off any excess fat.
Add the peppers onions, garlic, and sauté until the onions are soft and sweet. Add back in the ground beef, molasses, tomato paste and sprinkle in the spice mixture. Stir until combined.
Add the beef stock, bay leaves and the short rib bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, partially covered, for two to three hours.
Towards the two hour mark check and remove the short rib with tongs and place on a cutting board. Cut around the bones and chop the meat or shred it with a fork. Place the meat back into the pot and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Stir occasionally and add more stock if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning. I like to finish with a healthy pat of butter and a tsp of Worcestershire sauce. If I'm feeling spicy I let loose with the Tabasco.
Chili with beans (optional)
Place ingredients except for tomatoes in a bowl and soak overnight.
Rinse beans the next day and reserve the bay leaf.
Stew the beans bay leaf and tomatoes together in a pot on the stove on medium for about an hour or until tender.