A shepherd herds and oversees sheep, usually to raise them for eventual sale at a meat market. For sheep, that often means from their pencil to a field of grass where they graze. Thus, the shepherd shepherds the sheep into the field from their pencil.
A pie consists of pastry formed into a bowl which will contain a staple food product that the baker selects (beef, vegetables, or fruit). With that much done, the product could be called something besides a pie. When the baker adds a pastry cover (lid or top ) then bakes her or his invention, he or she has baked pie. The name shepherd’s pie suggests that mutton (the meat of sheep) got baked into the pie. While true, if the baker chooses to use mutton, the title shepherd’s pie applies to some edible food shepherded into the pastry bowl.
You know the name for prepared food products which were not all consumed: leftovers. Shepherd’s pie, a freshly-baked demonstration of kitchen leftovers, provides a baker with a range of opportunity to spruce up an otherwise B list meal while clearing the fridge of older, yet usable food before it spoils. I have seen the title”cowboy’s pie.” A pie will consume (taste) the same if the title changes; the pie itself remains the same. Cowboys herd cattle, as shepherds herd sheep.
Speaking of cows, western Americans favor the title cows, and they detest the term boy when referring to themselves and their tradition of herding cows. They like cattlemen better. Cattlemen’s pie works then, doesn’t it? It also seems better than cowboy’s pie. Probably, we should go there, since cattlemen don’t usually herd cows, which reside in barns, create dairy products, and make little cows (calves).
Cattlemen herd steers to the meat market. We don’t require oxen anymore because we have trucks to haul heavy burdens. If you like to eat steak and hamburger, then you understand the use of steers. But, you probably don’t need to think about a pie made with leftover castrated bulls.