I must sheepishly confess that this little fact was unbeknownst to me until four days ago. When I did find out, however, I did one of those hand-slap-to-forehead gestures: of course it's made with lamb! It's not not called cattle rancher's pie for a reason.
My first encounter with shepherd's pie was in elementary school, and I remember feeling indifferent about it. Looking back, I suspect it was because 1) the mashed potatoes were rehydrated from powder, 2) the ground meat was rather boring, and 3) the corn was never inside of the pie, but served instead on the side. Naturally, I've always had a pallet for Asian food, and they weren't serving any of mum's cooking in school. Instead, I was exposed to mediocre cafeteria versions of white-people food: they certainly didn't make mac and cheese, or chicken à la king in a memorable manner. My introduction to the actual world of caucasian cuisine was only a recent phenomenon. As I've been asian-ifying the boy with noodley concoctions, turnip cake, and shitake mushrooms, he's directed my affection towards his renditions of mac and cheese (which I will have to blog about soon) and shepherd's pie.
Can a true Asian claim that meat-and-potatoes = beauty?
I think so.
Since those early years, the consumption-count of 'real' shepherd's pie is at a pitifully low '3' (sure to change, of course). They were all courtesy of the boy, and uber tasty - though made with ground beef, times 1 and 2 should be aptly named cottage pies. The latest version was a 'proper' one, made with ground spring lamb. You may already have guessed that our dinner last Wednesday was mighty, mighty fine.