How to Make It
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the ribs and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a plate. Add the butter, bacon, garlic, onions, shallots, thyme and bay leaves to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon fat is partially rendered and the vegetables are golden, 5 minutes. Stir in the red wine and port and cook over moderate heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Return the short ribs and their juices to the casserole, add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Transfer the short ribs to a plate. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids; discard the solids. Return the sauce to the casserole and simmer until reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes. Add the ribs and simmer gently until warmed through, 5 minutes.
In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the vegetables, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 10 minutes. Stir in the honey, cover and cook until softened, 15 minutes. Add 1 cup of water, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and mash with a fork until chunky. Fold in the 1 tablespoon of parsley and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Spoon the mash onto plates and top with the short ribs. Garnish with parsley and pass the remaining sauce at the table.