There are likely as many versions as there are families. I'm not sure where I came across this particular recipe, but it's the first version I tried and we stuck with it. The secret, as they say, is in the sauce.
1. Dump browned ground beef into bottom of casserole dish. (I keep meal-sized portions in my freezer, already cooked and ready to go.)
2. Add steak sauce to taste, mix, and spread evenly. I forgot this step once, and EVERYONE noticed. It adds a nice kick of flavor.
3. Drain a can or two of corn and dump on top. Spread evenly.
4. Spread mashed potatoes carefully on top of corn. (I use the kind that's kept in the frig and microwaved.)
5. Bake until heated through. Probably 20 minutes @ 350*.
6. Add cheese to the top and stick back in for 5 minutes, if you'd like. As you can see, about 1/2 of us like.
7. Let it rest for a few minutes, then scoop away.
The trick to making this a quick fix meal is using ready-to-heat mashed potatoes and having the meat already cooked and waiting patiently in the freezer.
Does your family have a different version of Shepherd's Pie?