Shepherd's pie is a simple casserole made of meat, mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. This versatile oven-baked dish originated in England, and is considered comfort food.
The authentic English recipe calls for lamb or mutton, but Americans adapted the recipe to include more widely available ground beef. Shepherd's pie is assembled in layers. In a casserole dish, a thin base of mashed potatoes is placed first, then a generous helping of cooked ground meat and roasted vegetables. The dish is topped with another layer of more mashed potatoes. Early cookbooks referred to the casserole as "Cottage Pie," giving credence to an affordable dish for modest, cottage-dwelling families.