Preheat your oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas mark 3 / 325F (ignore this step if using a slow cooker).
Season the beef all over with a little salt and plenty of black pepper.
Place a frying pan on over high heat and wait until it is smoking hot (at least 2 minutes).
Brown the beef in the hot pan for 2 minutes on each side, starting with the side with the fat.
Place the beef in a casserole, dutch oven or slow cooker.
Reduce the heat right down under the frying pan and fry the onions, until lightly browned. Then add the garlic and fry for 1 more minute, taking care not to burn the garlic. Throw the onions and garlic into the casserole / dutch oven / slow cooker.
Pour the wine and stock into the frying pan and bring to the boil. Carefully pour the hot liquid into the casserole / dutch oven / slow cooker.
Add the chopped carrots and celery to the casserole / dutch oven / slow cooker, together with the bay leaves and sprigs of thyme.
[Oven Method] Put a lid on your casserole / dutch oven and place it in your preheated oven for 3 hours. For best results, turn the beef over a couple of times during cooking (but this is not essential.)
[Slow Cooker Method] Put the lid on your slow cooker and select ‘low’. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Serve with mashed potatoes and green vegetables.
**Optional step for thicker gravy** When the meat is done, remove the beef and vegetables onto a serving dish and strain the liquid into a saucepan. Mix together 1-2 tablespoons cornflour (U.S. - corn starch) – depending on how thick you like your gravy – with a small amount of cold water to make a thin paste. Pour this paste into the saucepan. Gently simmer the gravy until it reaches your preferred consistency, then pour into a gravy jug.
Suitable for freezing.
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.