In a large pot or skillet with high sides, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in stew meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown meat completely. Stir in carrots, vegetable juice, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to boil, then cover and reduce to simmer for 1-2 hours.
Peel potatoes and rinse. Cut into even sized pieces and place into a large pot. Cover with cold water and sprinkle salt. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain completely and place potatoes back into the hot pot. Mash potatoes with butter, cream cheese, milk, salt and pepper until desired consistency has been reached. Cover to keep warm.
Once meat in stew is fork tender, stir in frozen peas. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over mashed potatoes