Season the beef with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or, deep skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the beef. Arrange it in the pan so that it’s in a single layer.
Cook the beef chunks for 5 minutes. Then turn each piece and cook for another 5 minutes until browned. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the beef from the pot. Place on a plate or pan and keep warm. Don’t worry that it’s not cooked through; it will finish cooking in the sauce.
Do not wash the pan. Place it back over medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 3 minutes until they start to soften and become translucent, stir frequently.
Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, oregano and pepper to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring almost constantly.
Add the white wine and stir while gently scrapping any bits off the bottom. Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir frequently.
Add the tomato sauce, water and the bay leaf to the pot and stir.
Carefully place the beef back in the pot, including any juices collected on the plate. When the sauce comes back to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and cover.
Cook the beef for 15 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Keep the sauce at a simmer. If it’s boiling too vigorously lower the heat a bit.
Uncover the pot and give the beef and sauce a quick stir. Add the potatoes, carrots and olives. Raise the heat to medium-high and let the sauce come to a simmer.
Lower the heat and cover. Cook the beef and potatoes at a gentle simmer over medium-low to low heat for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are fork tender, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is boiling too vigorously, lower the heat just a touch.
Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the sauce and add salt, if needed. As a reference we added ½ teaspoon to ours.
Serve the carne con papas with white rice, if desired.