Slice the onions thinly. It doesn't have to be very thin. Cut each mushroom into about 5-6 slices.
Season the beef with salt and pepper and dust with flour.
Heat a pan, add oil and stir fry the onions. When the oil has coated all the onion slices, add the mushrooms and stir fry until everything has wilted. Transfer to a pot.
Add more oil to the same pan and stir fry the beef. When the beef is browned, add the red wine and simmer rapidly over high heat until the liquid in the pan has reduced to 1/3 to evaporate the alcohol.
Add the beef to the pot with the onions and mushrooms. Add water and the bay leaves, and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the ketchup and mix. Add the demi-glace sauce, and give it a stir.
Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes... and adjust with salt and pepper to finish.
If you're using tomato juice instead of wine, you can use half the amount of ketchup. I used a ton of mushrooms here; 100 g is fine normally.
If the onions you have are big, just one should be ok.
Story Behind this Recipe
We make hayashi rice a lot. As time went by, I gradually settled on this method which uses a generous amount of red wine. You don't need a lot of flavorings or soup stock granules and so on; the simple combination of beef and wine is delicious enough.
Once you add the red wine, make sure to simmer rapidly to evaporate the alcohol. If you're using tomato juice, just simmer until it's blended with the beef and the liquid in the pan has reduced to about half. Once the demi-glace sauce is added, don't let it burn. If you overcook this stew, the beef will get tough so watch out!