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Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Put the beef in a bowl, sprinkle with the flour and seasoning, then mix until well coated. Fry in batches, adding more oil if necessary, until everything is well browned. Transfer to a casserole dish.
Add another tbsp oil to the pan and stir in the onion and carrots. Cover and gently cook for 10-12 mins until softened, then remove the lid and cook until just beginning to brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Pour in the wine and stir well, letting it boil up for 1 min, then pour the whole mixture over the meat. Add the stock, bay leaves and thyme, bring to a simmer, then cover and gently simmer for 2½ hrs until the meat is very tender. If the sauce looks a bit thin, remove the lid and continue to cook until it thickens. Eat half now; chill or freeze the rest for later (see 'Goes well with' for ideas on using the rest of the stew).