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If using the oven to cook the stew, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
Trim and roughly chop the celery, then peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a casserole pan on a medium heat, add all the vegetables and the bay and fry for 10 minutes.
Add the beef and flour, then pour in the booze and tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a spoon. Give it a good stir, then season with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on the hob or place in the oven for 3 hours, or until the meat falls apart easily. Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking.
Remove the bay leaves before serving, then taste and tweak the seasoning, if needed.