1 tablespoon all-purpose flour mixed with 1/4 cup cold water, for thickening (optional)
Rub the meat with the garlic clove. Mix the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge the meat in the seasoned flour. In a Dutch oven or large heavy pan with a lid, heat the oil. Add the meat and brown well on all sides. Pour off the excess fat and add the onion and thyme. Stir until the onion begins to brown, then add the bay leaf and tomatoes. Cover tightly and simmer for 3 hours, or until tender. During cooking, turn the meat several times; if necessary, add water, stock, or red wine.
When the meat is tender, transfer to a heated platter. Remove the bay leaf from the pan sauce. If desired, bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat and add flour mixture, stirring constantly, until the sauce becomes a thick gravy. Serve the meat with boiled potatoes, carrots, and gravy.
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