Cut the meat into 1/2 inch cubes. Coat in flour and brown in the shortening in a pre-heated dutch oven or large, thick-bottomed pot. Brown in batches if it doesn't all fit in one layer.
Add the water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Stir occasionally and check to make sure there's enough water. Depending on the amount of connective tissue in the meat the sauce will get very thick. Thick is good, but if it gets too thick it will burn at the bottom.
Add onion, red peppers, and rice. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Continue occasionally stirring and checking the water.
Add the tomatoes, peas, thyme, and vinegar. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.