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1. Place the 1/4 cup flour in a plastic bag. Add the meat pieces, a few at a time, shaking to coat. In a 4-quart Dutch Oven brown meat, one-third at a time, in hot oil. Drain well. Return all the meat to the Dutch oven. Add the 4 cups water, the chopped onion, garlic, and bay leaves to meat. Stir in the sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 1-1/2 hours or until meat is nearly tender.
2. Add the potatoes, carrots, and the boiling onions. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves. Remove meat and vegetables to a serving dish. Cover and keep warm.
3. For gravy, in a small mixing bowl stir the 1 tablespoon flour into the 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Stir into the mixture in Dutch oven. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. If desired, stir in sherry. Pour gravy over meat and vegetables. If desired, sprinkle with snipped parsley.