Growing up, our shepherd's pie was always made with beef (cowherd's pie?). I was excited to try it out with lamb recently, and was very happy with the result.
I don't have many pics of the cooking process as I had company over, but it's about as basic as you can get - very simple to make. I have been looking for recipes with potatoes as I've had a good harvest and have lots to cook with (or will store some if I can figure out how to do it properly!).
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
Milk or Half-and-Half
1/2 large white onion, chopped
3 carrots, diced small
2 cloves garlic
6 oz field mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 lb minced lamb
1/2 cup chicken stock
Boil the diced potatoes until tender. Mix with a couple of Tbsps butter and just enough milk or half-and-half cream to make a spreadable mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Meanwhile, saute the onion, carrots and garlic in a Tbsp of olive oil about 10 minutes until onion is translucent and carrots are starting to soften (I always add a wee bit of stock if the pan is getting too hot just to keep the veggies from burning). Add mushrooms and saute until browned. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for 2 minutes. Crumble in the lamb, and cook until browned.
Add the chicken stock, herbs and some S&P. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Check seasoning again.
Toss some peas into the lamb mixture (1 cup maybe ... I even told my friend to remind me to put the peas in and we both forgot) then into a casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes to allow all of the flavours to mingle (what looks like cheese is just the juices bubbling up and getting browned).