Heat the oil in a large pot, then add the beef, seasoning with salt and pepper. Brown meat on all sides then remove and set aside. Next sauté the onions. When they start to become softened (about 5 min.) reduce the heat to med-low and add the flour. Cook 2 min, stirring often. Add garlic and thyme, cook 1 more minute. Stir in tomato paste. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. The flour will start to thicken the wine as it comes to a simmer. Simmer for 5 min, then add the broth, bay leaf, and browned beef. Bring back up to a simmer, cover and cook on low for about an hour. Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer for another hour or until the vegetables are tender and meat is up to temperature. Taste and adjust seasoning to desired level. Add frozen peas, heat for a few more minutes, then serve.
To allow the flavors to fully marry, this stew is BEST made a day in advance.