I learned this recipe from a British friend. She was spending the winter in Russia together with her Russian husband and this dish, it seems, can be easily made to suit Russian tastes, although it may be slightly different from the origina;l British recipe. But since I'm only sharing my own experience, do bear in mind that it is all suited - and sometimes adapted to Russia.
They say that years ago a shpeherd would spend the entire day in the fields, so he needed something to eat that would be nourishing and still taste good even several hours after it was cooked. I will give th eversion I tried in Russia first and then links to the original English recipe.
To make shepher'd pie you'll need the following ijgredients:
400 grams of minced beef or fresh chicken.
500 grams of potatoes
a glass of milk
50 grams of butter
pepper and salt to taste
any other spices you use with meat (optional)
200 grams cheese
300 grams of green beans or any other vegetables (optional).
If you're using chicken: boil the chicken until it's very soft. Take the meat off the bones and cut in very small bits. Do not mince to preserve the texture. If you're using minced meat, warm a frying pan, add some vegetable oil. Chop the onion. Fry the minced meat with the onion until golden brown.
In the meantime peel and boil the potatoes. mash them with the milk and butter.
Grate the cheese.Boil the vegetables.
In an oven-proof dish put a layer of meat, then a layer of vegetables and mashed potatoes on top and cover with the grated cheese. Put into a hot oven and bake until the cheese is melted and golden on top. As Clauire told me, the dish is most delicious when each of the three layers is about the same size.
Serve like you'd serve a pie or a cake.
I've made this dish both with minced beef and with chicken, and I prefer chicken.
The original English shepherd's pie would be cooked like this:
or like this: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/easy_shepherds_pie/