Add oil to large pot over medium high heat. Next unwrap two packages of beef and add to hot pan. Liberally season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once beef is finished searing, remove from pan and place to the side.
Next add chopped onion and bacon to pan and brown.
Add garlic and only cook for 30 seconds.
Sprinkle in flour and stir together and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste then pour in beef stock, red wine and balsamic vinegar.
Next add potatoes, carrots and thyme sprigs and add back in beef and season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Once boiling turn stew down to medium low, cover and continue to cook until thickened and ready for about 1 1/2 hours.
Though it is tempting to speed up the cooking process, don't do it! Really allow the beef to tenderize and the sauce to develop incredible flavors while thickening. This also tastes even better the next day.