Season the beef as desired. Coat with 1 tablespoon flour. Heat the oil in a 6-quart saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until it's well browned, stirring often. Add the garlic to the saucepot and cook and stir for 1 minute.
Stir the stock, onions, bay leaf, thyme and black pepper in the saucepot and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
Add the carrots and potatoes to the saucepot. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the beef is fork-tender and the vegetables are tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Stir the remaining flour and water in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Stir the flour mixture in the saucepot. Increase the heat to medium. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with buttermilk biscuits and a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds and Ranch dressing. For dessert serve chocolate chip cookies.