Apparently since 1885 in England, when the first mention of this dish hit literature, Ale Cottage Pie has been used to describe a beef dish covered in potato, whereas Shepherd’s Pie would contain lamb instead. (Shepherds care for sheep, not cattle). The addition of a dark ale enhances the flavours and adds depth to this simple, kid-friendly dish.
Sautee a diced onion and garlic until translucent. Add ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste. Brown the meat. Drain fat off. Return to pan. Continue to brown. Add mustard ( 2T) and dashes of worstershire sauce.. Put in 2 pints of beer, 1 pint water (beef stock), bring to boil. REduce heat. Simmer, uncovered. Allow to reduce down at least an hour at a simmer. Transfer to Shephard’s Pie dish. Allow to cool. Add mashed potato. While boiling, put whole garlic cloves in the water – garlic will turn sweet when you boil. Add Salt, pepper, grated parmesan, butter and cream. Sprinkle salt on top. Score with fork. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 mins until golden brown. Rest 10 minutes.