To make braised short ribs, in nonreactive container, combine onions, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, chiles, salt, garlic, cumin, pepper and bay leaf. Add short ribs; turn to coat well with marinade. Refrigerate 24 hours.
Sear short ribs in large sauté pan or rondo; remove from pan. Deglaze with red wine and marinade; simmer about 20 minutes. Add vegetable base and 1 gallon water. Cover and braise in 350ºF oven about 1 3/4 hours or until tender. Cool short ribs in braising liquid; remove, trim and portion into 6-ounce rectangles. Split each 6-ounce rectangle into two 3-ounce rectangles per portion. For each serving, in hot pan, crisp 1 portion short ribs in small amount of oil; serve with 1/2 cup red wine sauce.
To make red wine sauce, sauté carrots, onions, apples and celery in oil until soft. Add sugar; cook until sugar melts and starts to caramelize. Add red wine; reduce to syrupy consistency. Add demiglace; simmer on very low heat, skimming away scum as it forms; do not allow sauce to over-reduce. Strain gently, first through a large-holed strainer, then through a fine chinois.
Recipe by Guillermo Pernot, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, Philadelphia & Atlantic City