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Season the beef with salt and pepper. Dredge it in flour and shake off the excess.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the meat on all sides. Adjust the heat so that the meat browns well, but does not burn.
Add the onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook 2 minutes more. Add the red wine. Stir with a wooden spoon to release any caramelized bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pan and cook about 20 minutes.
Add the tomatoes with their juices and the beef broth and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so that the stew simmers. Add the carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Cook until meat is tender and vegetables are completely tender. (The potatoes will fall apart and thicken the sauce.)
Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf and serve in a deep tureen.