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Salt and pepper a piece of stew beef.
Heat fat in a large pot til just before smoking over medium-medium high heat.
Sear all sides of the piece of beef til deep brown, 3-5 minutes to the top and bottom and a minute or so per edge. Remove to a plate.
Add chopped onions, carrots, and celery, whole cloves of garlic, thyme, red pepper, salt and pepper. Brown.
Preheat oven to 275.
Add enough liquid to allow you to scrape up the tasty brown bits from the bottom of the pot, then nestle the beef in the vegetables and add more liquid til the liquid level is halfway up the side of the roast - I like a combination of chicken stock and a light-ish, not bitter beer, but any tasty-seeming combination of stock, wine, beer, and water will work fine. Add a dash or three of worcester sauce.
Cover. Into the oven.
Check now and then. When the beef starts to fall apart (2 hours or so depending on the roast), add potatoes cut into 2" pieces.
Cook til the beef and potatoes are tender, 3-4 hours total.