I watch a LOT of Food Network TV. And, many times I have heard of them adding Guinness to shepherds pie, to increase its "heartiness" (as if it needs to be more hearty).
So we have this beer, a very expensive, very fine beer that we enjoyed when we bought it. But, having attempted to cellar-age this beer, it is not to fine anymore. Sorry, Goose Island, but your 2008 Bourbon County Stout tasted much better in this recipe than it did to drink! So, here is the recipe. Any good stout beer will do; however, I don't actually recommend Guinness here. In the past, we have cooked with Guinness and found the taste turned bitter when cooked.
Shepherds Pie With Stout Beer
For potato topping:
In a pot, start with:
4 large potatoes, diced (I like the peels on, but you may peel if you like)
Cover with water and about a tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until fork tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a large saute pan, saute:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced fine
When onion becomes translucent, add:
1 pound ground beef or venison
2 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning
Cook until meat browns. Add 3/4 cup stout beer and 1/2 cup beef stock. Cook down until liquid is almost evaporated. Put mixture in a large, deep dish pie pan. Top with 1/2 cup of frozen peas or mixed vegetables.
Potatoes should be done at this point, so drain water from them, and place them back in the pan. Add 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup milk, salt and pepper to taste, and mash until fairly smooth. Spread on top of the pie, sprinkle with paprika and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.