Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large nonstick pot over medium-high heat. Add meat to the pot and cook, occasionally stirring, until browned all over, about 5-10 minutes.
Add bay leaves, onions, garlic, and carrots. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, about five minutes.
Sprinkle in the flour and cook until the raw flavor has cooked off, about two minutes. Pour in the water and tomato paste, scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and increase the heat to bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is knife-tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves before serving.
Cook the stew in a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven. The heavy bottom will distribute the heat more evenly so that the stew won't stick to the bottom.
Searing meat cubes is key to creating rich, caramelized flavors that make stews irresistibly good. Don't skip this step!
Make this stew gluten-free by using a 1:1 GF flour in place of the all-purpose.
Feel free to add in other vegetables that you have in your fridge. Mushrooms and red bell peppers both work well.