What I had for dinner:
During my recent trip to London, I had the opportunity to have a lunch of Beef in Beamish at the Calthorpe Arms, a Young's pub on Gray's Inn Road.
Beamish is an Irish stout, but unlike its cousins Guinness and Murphy, it has a hint of sweetness that makes it something of a hybrid between these classic dry stouts and the sweet English milk stouts. As far as I know, Beamish is not available in the US, so I decided to go with what the local bodega could provide: Sierra Nevada.
One lb of cubed beef was floured (shaking it in a bag with the flour reduces the mess factor) and well browned in vegetable oil. Two finely chopped shallots and two sliced carrots were cooked for a few minutes with the meat, then 4 whole cloves of garlic were added, and one bottle of Sierra Nevada stout plus enough water to just cover. A bay leaf, a little mace, and a tsp of whole black peppercorns were added as the foaming of the beer had subsided, and the stew was cooked for 30 min under pression (about 2 hours in a pot).
If necessary, boil the sauce over high heat at the end to reduce it, coarsely mash the carrots and garlic, mix well, and serve with plain boiled potatoes. Or, if you don't mind the sogginess, with French fries.
S.N. stout turned out to be a trifle too bitter for this. If I do it again, I should try to use a sweeter one, such as Mackeson or Dragon.
I should add, since I gave quantities in the recipe, that it makes about 4 servings.