1. Combine vegetables in 4½ qt (4.3 L) slow cooker. Add bay leaves.
2. Place stewing beef, flour and pepper into a sealable plastic bag and toss to coat beef.
3. Brown beef well on all sides in heated oil over medium-high heat in large non-stick skillet. Place beef on top of vegetables in slow cooker.
4. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and garlic to skillet and combine well with pan drippings. Pour mixture over beef and vegetables.
5. Cook, covered, on HIGH setting for 4 hours* or until the beef reaches internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and is fork-tender. Discard bay leaves before serving.