In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Toss the beef with the flour. When the oil is hot, add the meat in batches and cook until the meat is browned on all sides, this will take about 15 minutes to brown all the meat. Transfer to a platter and set aside.
Add the onions, celery, bay leaves, thyme, tomato paste and 1 tablespoon of garlic and continue to cook until the vegetables are wilted and golden about six minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with the stock, scraping the browned particles away from the pan.
Return the beef to the pot and add the potatoes and carrots. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of minced garlic. Reseason the stew if necessary. Serve hot garnished with fresh parsley and crusty bread
Yield: 4 to 6 servings