Saucy Beef Stew

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1.2kg boneless beef chuck (well-marbled), cut into cubes
1 – 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onions, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef stocl
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Fresh chopped parsley, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 190°C and set a rack in the lower middle position.
Pat the beef dry and season with the salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Brown the meat in batches, turning with tongs, for about 5 minutes per batch; add one tablespoon more oil for each batch. (To sear the meat properly, do not crowd the pan and let the meat develop a nice brown crust before turning with tongs.) Transfer the meat to a large plate and set aside.
Add the onions, garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the brown bits from bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more. Add the beef with its juices back to the pan and sprinkle with the flour. Stir with wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine, beef stock, water, bay leaf and thyme. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, transfer to the preheated oven, and braise for 3 hours or until cooked through and meat is falling of the bone. Adding liquid when necessary.
Serve the stew warm or let it come to room temperature. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

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