Italian Braised Short Ribs

Recipe is from 'ONE POT of the DAY' (book available here)

I modified slightly -

2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 lb beef short ribs (I like Whole Foods)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 oz pancetta, chopped (Whole Foods or Etaly)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup dry red wine
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth or water (if you use water, add 1/2 salt)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme
1 tbsp dried oregno

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. On a plate, stir together the flour, salt and black pepper. Turn the ribs in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the ribs, turning occasionally until evenly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. -Searing is an essential step!
3. Add the pancetta to the pot (clean pot, no oil!) and saute until mostly crisp, ~4 minutes. Add the onions and saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, less than 1 minute. Add the carrots, tomato paste, and sugar. Stirring often until well blended about 1 minute. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and stir to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, broth (or water with salt), vinegar and bring to a boil. - good quality tomato paste and tomatoes are essential for Italian cuisine!
4. Return the ribs to the pot with the tomato mixture. Add bay leaves, rosemary and thyme sprigs and oregano. Cover and cook in the oven until the ribs are very tender, about 2 hours.