Add the water to a Dutch oven or a braising pan, add the bouillon cube and stir until dissolved. Add the beef, the bay leaf and the peppercorns and braise on low heat for approximately 90 minutes or until beef is tender.
Remove the meat to a serving dish, discard the bay leaf and peppercorns and stir the dissolved flour into the pan juices. Stir scraping the bottom of the pan, loosening any meat particles that may be stuck. Bring the heat slowly up until the gravy starts to thicken. Pour the gravy over the meat and set aside, keeping it warm.
In the meantime, place the potatoes on the bottom of a pan, and add water so that the potatoes are just covered. Put the carrots on top, and finish with the onions. Add salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and boil for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Pour off the cooking water, but save it. Mash the potatoes, carrots and onions until you achieve a mashed potato consistency. If you need more liquid to make it smoother, add a tablespoon of cooking liquid at a time. Taste, adjust with salt and pepper.
Serve the hutspot family-style on a large platter, slice the beef and serve with the gravy.