Heat a large dutch oven on medium low heat, cook bacon until pliant, but just short of crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towels to cool (do not discard bacon grease). Increase heat to medium high.
Add butter to bacon grease and combine (you should have about 2-3 tablespoons of fat). Stir in salt and sugar. Add onions and stir to coat; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften (2-3 minutes). Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently (almost constantly), until onions are browned and slightly sticky, about 40 minutes longer. Remove onions from pan, stir in 1 tablespoon water. Let cool.
Add the cubed beef, flour, salt and pepper to a large bowl (or ziplock back) and toss to coat evenly. Increase heat to medium high, add oil, and brown cubed beef in batches, without crowding, adding additional oil as necessary to prevent smoke. Transfer browned beef to plate. Cook garlic until fragrant, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, cook 1-2 minutes longer.Add wine to deglaze bottom of pan. Scrape bottom of pan to loosen browned beef. Return beef (and accumulated juices) and bacon to dutch oven; add 1 cup of beef broth & water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 45 minutes.
Puree caramelized onions & tomato sauce with a stick blender; add to pot. Add potatoes, celery, carrots, remaining stock, and water to make desired consistency. Cover and simmer 75 minutes more. Serve with biscuits or hearty bread & butter.