1. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; set aside. Add half of beef to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining beef.
2. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and garlic; sauté 4 minutes or until half of liquid evaporates. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add bacon, beef, carrot, and remaining ingredients to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf.
Beer note: With Belgian Beef and Beer Stew, focus on Belgian beers in the style of Dubbel or Brune. These words indicate a dark-colored, malty beer that goes well with braised beef. Moinette Brune ($9/750 ml) offers fruity sweetness that works with caramelized vegetables and a bready quality that matches any stew, while the beer's lively effervescence and surprisingly light body won't weigh down a winter meal. --Jeffery Lindenmuth