Step 1Cut meat into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Spread it on a piece of wax paper and salt and pepper pieces liberally. Set aside.
Step 2Peel carrots, slice them into 1/4-inch pieces and place in a bowl. Cut stem top and root bottom off turnips. Peel and slice into pieces about 1/4-inch thick. Add to carrots. Cut stem top and root bottom off onions and, using a paring knife, peel the papery outside skin off and discard. Cut the onion in half horizontally. Put each half flat side down on the cutting board and slice into 1/4-inch slices. Add onions to vegetables and set aside.
Step 3Melt shortening in large pot over medium-high heat and add meat. Brown well, 5 to 6 minutes, turning cubes over to brown on all sides. Standing back a bit from the pot, slowly add boiling water to meat. It will bubble up and turn a golden brown. Stir and reduce heat to medium-low. Add half the carrots, turnips, onions and bay leaves, stir, and cover.
Step 4Cook 30 minutes, then add remaining vegetables and bay leaves. Taste for salt and add if needed. Cover and cook until meat is tender and thoroughly cooked and vegetables are tender, 30 minutes more. Serve hot.