Cut steak into approximately 3cm pieces. Combine wine, brandy, garlic, bay leaves and thyme in a bowl or storage container add steak, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Drain the steak reserving the marinade for later use. Heat oil in a fry pan and cook steak in batches until browned. In an ovenproof dish add steak, reserved marinade, stock and tomato paste. Cook covered either in a slow oven or very low stove top setting for 21/2 hours.
Melt butter in another pan add onions, cook until lightly browned, remove onions from pan and add chopped mushrooms cook for few minutes and remove. Wipe pan to remove any left over butter then add bacon, cook until browned and crisp, drain on absorbent paper.
Add onions, mushrooms and bacon to the steak mixture and cook for a further 30 minutes still covered. Boil or microwave carrots until just tender, drain and add to stew.
If cooking in the oven remove and place on stove top. Add a little water to the cornflour and pour into stew, stir until mixture thickens. At this point I add bisto to thicken it up all the way and it adds even more flavour. If your not using this you will need to use more cornflour for the thickness of the stew. Also taste test it, as if not using bisto you may want to add a little more beef stock powder to mixture.
To serve I either heap spoonfuls on a bed of mash potato or I serve it with baby new potatoes.
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