Season the beef with the black pepper. Coat the beef with the flour.
Heat the oil in a 6-quart saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the beef in 2 batches and cook until it's well browned, stirring often. Pour off any fat.
Add the mushrooms, garlic, herbs and bay leaf to the saucepot and cook until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the stock and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in the carrots and potatoes and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the beef is fork-tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Tip: For visual interest, you can peel a strip around the centers of the potatoes before cooking.