1In 12-inch skillet or 4-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes. Add beef; cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides.
2Add water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes or until beef is almost tender.
3Stir in remaining ingredients except cold water and flour. Cover; cook about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf.
4In tightly covered jar or container, shake cold water and flour; gradually stir into beef mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute until thickened.