Traditional shepherd’s pie gets a new twist!

Sunday I was in the mood for shepherd’s pie, but I was also in the mood for beef stew.  What to do??  Mix the two!!  I also topped it with mashed cauliflower to save a few calories/carbs.  You wouldn’t even miss the potato!  Well, maybe a little.  My neighbor had some ground elk she wanted me to put it in so that was also a different twist, but of course you can use whatever meat you like.  Is this healthy?  Well, it has a fair amount of butter throughout, but other than that, nothing is fattening or unhealthy in this dish.  Unless you eat the entire pan (which is possible because it’s delicious) I think you’re ok.  This did take me a decent amount of time to prep, but as always, any really great meal takes time.  I fed 6 adults with this (healthy portions) with a little bit to spare.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, cubed
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ bag frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 leek stalk, top and bottom removed, sliced thin (optional)
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 17.6 oz container College Inn bold beef stock
  • 1 package Lipton onion mushroom dry soup mix
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 3 TBSP butter & flour for roux, 1 TBSP butter for cauliflower, 2 TBSP butter for sautéing vegetables
  • ¼ cup red cooking wine
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Shredded or grated parmesan cheese


  • Season the cubed sirloin with salt & pepper.  Add the sirloin, mushrooms, carrots, celery, beef stock, and Lipton soup mix to a crock pot, mix well and cook on high for 4 hours.  I started it at noon so the rest of the meal would be ready to prep at 4pm and ready to eat by 6pm.  You can of course start it in the morning.
  • With about 30 mins left on crock pot, heat a large saute pot on med-high heat and sauté the ground beef with salt and pepper until no pink remains.  Pour the meat into a colander to remove excess grease.  Add to a 9×13 baking dish or pan.
  • Start a medium sized pot of water to boil.  Cut the stems off the cauliflower and boil it until it’s slightly tender, about 6/7 mins (you do not want to overcook it).  Strain, add back to pot, add ½ cup light sour cream, 1 TBSP butter, salt & pepper to taste, and hand mash. 
  • Re-heat the saute pan you used for the ground beef (you do not need to clean it) over med-high heat, melt 2 TBSP butter, add leeks, onion, garlic, some salt & pepper, and sauté until tender and edges of onions starting to brown, about 8-10 mins.  Add these vegetables and the peas to the 9×13 dish.
  • You can turn the crock pot off now if it’s not already done.  Remove 5 ladles of the beef stock from the crock pot and add to a small bowl.  Drain the rest of the ingredients into a colander to remove any remaining stock.  Add those ingredients to the 9×13 dish and mix well.  You may want to test the beef to see it needs additional salt & pepper.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 375º
  • Heat a small sauce pan over med-high heat.  Melt 3 TBSP butter and start whisking in 1 TBSP flour at a time until you have a nice, thick paste.  For more info on making a roux (  Add the red cooking wine and whisk.  Add 1 ladle of the beef stock at a time to this mixture, continually whisking until you have a nice, thick gravy.  You may not need all 5 ladles.  Pour this gravy all over the ingredients in your 9×13 pan.


  • Spread the mashed cauliflower to cover the entire 9×13 dish.  Add panko bread crumbs, followed by parmesan cheese, and bake for 45 mins. 






About Stacey Tashjian

I am a mom of 2, happily married, work full time, and one of my favorite things to do is cook elaborate meals on the weekends! I also love to read, I'm a movie junkie, and if I win the lottery I will spend a good portion of my time traveling the world! Soccer has also been a great love of mine - I still play soccer (run a league in NJ) and have been playing since I was 4.
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