Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook and stir until browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook until aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; cook until alcohol has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Add celery and onions; cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Pour 10 cups water into the pot. Add tomato paste, salt, sugar, bay leaves, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low. Cover and cook stew until beef is tender, about 1 hour.
Place carrots into the stew; cook until slightly tender, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes; cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Mix cornstarch and 1/4 cup water together in a bowl; add to the stew. Let simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes.