* A dried herb mixture available at specialty foods stores and in the spice section of some markets. A mix of dried thyme, basil, savory, and fennel seeds can be substituted.
** Small brine-cured black olives; available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores, and some supermarkets.
-If you happen to make this in summer months, and have fresh tomatoes on hand (I like Romas), half the tomatoes, and roast them in the oven for about an hour at about 300 degrees. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. When plating the dish, Spoon mashed potatoes onto a large platter, then place roasted tomatoes, cut side down, on top (scattered over the potatoes). Spoon short ribs and remaining vegetables with some of the juice onto the mashed potatoes.