Recipes for braised short ribs typically begin with browning the ribs in the pot they'll be braised in, then deglazing the pan before braising in the oven. But you can also brown the ribs in a hot oven, and Chowhounds who do think it's worth washing a second pan. They argue it's quicker than browning in batches, especially for large amounts, and allows for deeper, more even browning without burning. You can even deglaze the baking pan to get every last bit of flavor.
Photo of Short Ribs with Frisée-Parsley Salad by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com