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.