I've never used tomatoes for beef stew (if there's tomatoes in it, it tastes like vegetable soup, to me). My mom always dredged her beef in flour, I never did because I was lazy. however, I was in a mood one day, so I used almond meal flour. AMAZING!
I had stew beef, I put spices and salt into the almond flour, and coated the beef with it. Seared it in coconut oil. Sauteed the onions, garlic, and celery (mirepoix is too sweet for me, for this recipe), then mushrooms (maybe add a little butter for the mushrooms) and if I have some, some red or yellow or orange pepper. I used box stock, but if you have beef stock, that's an nice flavor; if not, water. Simmer the beef; or let sit in crockpot. With everything scraped out of the frying pan. Add veggies available, I like carrots, green beans, turnips and/or rutabagas can be a nice substitute for potatoes. You could even toss sweet potato in, but I wouldn't do it in the crockpot, sweet potatoes tend to dissolve.
I have even made a roux from the almond meal flour and it thickens the stew just lovely.