Preheat oven to 325. In large Dutch oven, fry onion and bacon in butter until onion is translucent and bacon is browned. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and set aside. Cut beef into 1 1/2" cubes and dry well. Combine flour, salt and pepper and dredge beef. Brown beef about 1/3 at a time in the butter/bacon drippings over medium-high heat. Do not crowd the meat when browning. Remove meat from Dutch oven. Add brandy and deglaze pan by scraping drippings with a wooden spoon. Return meat, bacon and onions to pan and add wine, beef stock, thyme and bay leaf. Stir well. Bring to boil, cover and place in 325 degree oven for 2 hours or until meat is fork tender. Meanwhile, in a fry pan, brown mushrooms and small onions. Add to meat last 30 minutes of cooking. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 6.
Note: This is even better when made at least a day ahead, refrigerated and reheated gently, thinning with wine as needed. This recipe is good served with buttered pasta or mash potatoes - and of course a bottle of Grebennikoff Merlot!