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Cut the beef into 5cm/2" chunks. Pat dry then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a heavy based pot over high heat. Add beef in batches and brown well all over. Remove onto plate. Repeat with remaining beef.
Lower heat to medium. If the pot is looking dry, add oil.
Cook garlic and onion for 3 minutes until softening, then add bacon.
Cook until bacon is browned, then stir through carrot and celery.
Add flour, and stir for 1 minute to cook off the flour.
Add Guinness, chicken broth/stock and tomato paste. Mix well (to ensure flour dissolves well), add bay leaves and thyme.
Return beef into the pot (including any juices). Liquid level should just cover - see video or photos.
Cover, lower heat so it is bubbling gently. Cook for 2 hours - the beef should be pretty tender by now. Remove lid then simmer for a further 30 - 45 minutes or until the beef falls apart at a touch, the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
Skim off fat on surface, if desired. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves and thyme.
Serve with creamy mashed potatoes!!