In the English tradition, a cook uses leftover beef or lamb from last night's roast to make this hearty casserole. For the most basic shepherd's pie, you sauté some fresh vegetables, add in meat taken off the bone, and then add any jus or gravy to thicken up the filling and make it a little saucy. You put this filling into an oven-safe casserole dish, top it off with mashed potatoes, dot with butter, and bake until the topping gets a nice roasted brown hue.
What you don't know about shepherd's pie is that it is the perfect dish in which to use those Thanksgiving leftovers because there is no set recipe. Your shepherd's pie is based on what's available in the fridge the morning after Turkey Day. Personally, I like to go with very traditional flavors on Thanksgiving, and then go a little cross-cultural with the leftovers. So here is an Asian-inspired take on Shepherd's pie.