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Braised Chile-Spiced Short Ribs with Black Beans

['1 pound dried black beans (about 2 1/4 cups)', '8 cups water', '1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf', '1 1/4 ounces dried ancho chiles (3 to 4 medium)', '2 cups boiling-hot water', '1 medium onion, chopped', '3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped', '2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotles in adobo plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce', '2 tablespoons tomato paste', '2 tablespoons molasses (not robust or blackstrap)', '1 teaspoon cumin seeds', '3 whole cloves', '2 1/3 cups cold water, divided', '5 pounds beef short ribs', '1 tablespoon vegetable oil', '1/4 pound sliced bacon, chopped', '1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick', 'Accompaniments: chopped white or red onion; chopped cilantro']

Put beans in a 4-to 5-quart heavy pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches.
Bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour.
Wipe anchos clean, then stem and seed. Discard ribs and tear anchos into pieces.
Soak anchos in boiling-hot water until softened, about 20 minutes. Transfer anchos to a blender, reserving soaking liquid.
Purée anchos with onion, garlic, chipotles with sauce, tomato paste, molasses, cumin, cloves, 1/3 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Pat ribs dry and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper (total). Heat oil in a wide 6-to 8-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown ribs in batches, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer as browned to a platter. Discard fat from pot.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Cook bacon in pot over medium heat until browned, then transfer with a slotted spoon to platter.
Stir chile purée into fat in pot (it may spatter). Cook, stirring frequently, 6 minutes. Stir in reserved chile-soaking liquid, remaining 2 cups water, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Return ribs and bacon to pot and braise, covered, in oven until ribs are very tender, 3 to 3 1/4 hours. Skim fat from sauce.
Drain beans, then return to pot and add fresh water (8 cups), bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, 1 1/4 to 2 hours (depending on age of beans). Drain just before serving.
Serve short ribs with beans.

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