In Ireland, shepherd's pie is traditionally made with bits of leftover beef, but don't fret if you haven't any on hand. I generally use ground round, or sirloin. I've also substituted ground turkey, left-over lamb, or ground lamb. The creamed corn is a necessary ingredient, if you haven't any gravy, as the creamed sauce mixes with the natural meat juices to make its own gravy.
1 can creamed corn
1 small onion chopped
3 cups cooked beef (or the equivalent of the above)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups, mashed potatoes
1 cup, diced carrots, par-boiled (optional)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas (optional)
1 cup left-over gravy (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground meat in a skillet, along with the onion (if using left-over meat bits, just boil the onions until tender, and drain).
In a large, round casserole dish, combine the meat, and onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the creamed corn over the meat, and if desired, add the gravy. You may also choose to add the diced carrots and/or peas. Finally, pat the mashed potatoes over all.
Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes. The potato crust should be slightly golden and a bit crusty around the edges.