1cancream of mushroom soup, undiluted (or cream of anything you want really. I have tried many cream soups and they work quite well)
2cupsmushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 1/2cupsfrozen peas, optional
Preheat the oven to 250°.
Add the raw beef and and all of the vegetables (except the mushrooms and peas) to a large stew pot. Add the undiluted soups and mix everything together well. Place the bay leaves on top of the mixture. The mixture will look quite dry at this point.
Bake the stew with lid on for 5 hours. If you are using mushrooms and peas, add them at the beginning of the last hour.
This amazing beef stew really does make its own just perfect gravy with no work on your part.