How to Make It
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, reserving 1 1/2 tablespoons hot drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Add half of the beef to skillet, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer beef to a 5-quart slow cooker. Repeat with remaining half beef.
Add carrots and mushrooms to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add broth, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
Add onions and thyme sprigs to slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until beef is very tender, about 8 hours. Discard thyme sprigs. Skim excess fat from top of mixture, and discard. Discard beef mixture evenly among 6 bowls; sprinkle with cooked bacon and, if desired, thyme leaves.