It's a classic Irish dish that I grew up on. I think a lot of people assume that shepherds pie is made with either beef or lamb whereas shepherds pie is only made with minced or diced lamb and a cottage pie is with minced or diced beef. The process and ingredients are the same apart from the meat. Generally agreed it originated in the North of England and Scotland where there are large numbers of sheep--hence the name, it's thought to have been invented in the 18th century by frugal peasant housewives looking for creative ways to serve leftovers to their families. Presently, shepherd's pie and cottage pie are usually made from the leftovers of Sunday lunch. I remember we would have roast lamb, carrots, gravy and potatoes on Sunday which (if there was any leftover) would be turned into a pie for Monday.
1 lb. ground lamb or ground lean beef (pref grass fed)
1 medium white onion - diced
1 medium carrot - diced
2/3 cup frozen peas
1 tsp. fresh thyme - chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cups veal / beef broth
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large potatoes
1/2 cup low-fat or skim milk
S&P to taste
In a medium hot pan, saute onions and carrots in 1 tbsp. olive oil for 5 mins. Once softened remove and set aside. Increase heat in same pan, add lamb or beef and saute for 10 mins. stirring constantly to brown. Once ready add onion & carrot. Add the flour and cook for 2 mins. Once all the flour has been absorbed add the tomato paste, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 mins. Add frozen peas.
Taste & season with S&P. Pour mixture in 4" deep casserole dish and let cool.
Meanwhile, boil and mash potatoes. Add warmed milk and mix. Season with S&P.
Once meat mixture is cooled, layer mash potatoes on top.
In preheated 375 degree oven, bake on a baking sheet for 30 - 40 mins 'til potatoes are browned and crispy.Serve & enjoy!