FOR THE STEW: Cut beef into 1 inch pieces. In paper bag, combine 1/4 cup flour, chili powder, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add meat a few pieces at a time; close bag and shake to coat. Repeat with remaining meat. Reserve remaining flour mixture in bag.
In 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp; remove bacon, reserving drippings in pan. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble and set aside.
Over medium high heat in bacon drippings, cook meat until browned on all sides. With slotted spoon, remove meat to bowl, reserving drippings. In drippings, cook onion, green pepper, celery and garlic until tender. Stir in reserved flour mixture.
Gradually stir in tomatoes, water, oregano and sugar. Over medium heat, cook until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Return meat to Dutch oven. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
FOR THE CORNMEAL DUMPLINGS: In medium bowl, stir together cornmeal, baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup flour. Add milk, egg and butter; stir just until smooth. Stir in reserved bacon. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto simmering stew. Cover; simmer 15 minutes more without lifting lid. Yields 6 cups.
Great American Cookbook.