Pre-heat the oven to 350F (unless using a slow-cooker).
On a platter, stir together the ½ cup flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper.
Turn the beef pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
Heat the butter and oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add half of the floured meat into the pan. Let cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Use a wooden spoon to turn the meat around in the pan, and cook for another 5 minutes until the meat is browned all over. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat to a clean plate.
In the same pot, add a little more oil, if necessary. Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 - 8 minutes. Stir in the pearl onions.
Pour in the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add ¼ cup of flour and the tomato paste. Use a fork to work the paste into the flour. It's okay if it's not completely a paste.
Return the beef to the pan. Add 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of pepper.
Stir in the tomato thickener and whisk for about 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly thickened. The stew will continue to thicken as it cooks in the oven or slow-cooker.
Place the lid on the pot and place in the oven for 1½ to 2 hours until the meat is very tender, stirring a couple of times during the cooking process. If using a slow-cooker, add the stew and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 5 hours. Serve warm with bread!