Using a piece of kitchen string, tie together the thyme, bay leaves and parsley into a bouquet garni. Place into a non-metallic bowl with the beef, wine and garlic cloves. Marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Remove the meat from the marinade with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate, then strain the liquid, reserving the marinade.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Heat a large flameproof casserole over medium heat with 20 g of the butter. Cook the shallots or onions, and bacon for 5'6 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the shallots or onions lightly browned, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2'3 minutes. Remove from the dish and set aside. Add the remaining butter to the dish and cook the chopped onion and carrots for 1'2 minutes until softened.
Increase the heat to high, add the strained meat and cook for about 3 minutes until the meat is well sealed. Add the flour, tossing well to coat, then add the reserved marinade along with the bouquet garni and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, mixing well.
Place the lid on the dish and place into the oven. Cook for about 1 1/4 hours, stirring from time to time.
Return the bacon, mushrooms and shallots or onions to the casserole, and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender. Before serving, discard the bouquet garni and season to taste if you like. Serve garnished with chopped fresh thyme.
Each serving: 53 g protein, 26.5 g fat of which 13 g saturates, 11 g carbohydrate, 4 g fibre, 606 Calories