Peel the onions, cut them in half, and then slice. Wash the carrots, cut into large chunks. Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes
Heat oil in a large saucepan, fry onions just until softened; don’t let them brown
On a plate, season the flour with salt and pepper, then roll the beef cubes in the flour to coat (this is called "dredging"), then add to the onions and brown the sides of the cubes - this develops the flavor of the meat
Add the carrots, and potatoes, then the Guinness and the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaf, and then turn all into a large enough casserole dish and cook in the oven until everything is tender -- about two hours. Or, you can let it simmer on top the stove in the saucepan.
Cook @ 325
Definitely serve with a mashed potato to soak up the gravy.
Optional: When the stew is done, remove from oven, cover with a rolled-out sheet of puff pastry, and return to oven for about 25 minutes or until pastry is risen and golden.