Beef Shepherds Pie
Shepherd's Pie is a dish of cooked ground or diced meat mixed with gravy and sometimes vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes. The pie is baked until the potato "crust" browns.
Originally, Shepherd's Pie was created as a means of using leftovers to make a meal, but has become more popular over time and now served not only in homes, but also restaurants.
It was originally known as Cottage Pie, which refers to an English meat pie made with beef mince and a crust made from mashed potato. The term cottage pie was used in 1791, when potato was introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor. ("Cottage" referred to a modest dwelling for rural workers.)
The term "shepherd's pie" did not appear until the 1870s, and since has been used synonymously with "cottage pie," regardless of the main ingredient. Shepherd's Pie is a staple of Irish traditional cooking because of the potato, which Ireland adopted as a food crop in 1780. Shepherd's Pie is a tasty meal to enjoy on St. Patrick's Day.