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  • Writer's pictureChef Dylan


Shepherd’s Pie is one of those things chefs always like to have a fight about. Is it or is it not a pie?. I’ve long since refrained from joining in the debate. Who cares? It tastes delicious.

“How is it a pie when it has no pastry?!” is how it usually starts, but arguing with some chefs is like wrestling with a pig in mud; sooner or later you realise the pig actually likes it. This recipe requires something called TVP, or textured vegetable protein, and it’s come a long way since it first came on the scene and edamame is so much better than peas. If you don’t know where to find them, simply ask Google or head to your local Asian grocery.

If you are a vegetarian, seriously, add this to your arsenal of dishes. Trust me, with this flavour bomb your meat-eating mates won’t even miss the meat.

When I had my former restaurant, 'Eden', I made a point to make the menu almost fifty percent vegetarian. Why? Because living in the Scenic Rim we're surrounded by amazing produce and vegetarian food is both delicious and nutritious. Most restaurants will do a spinach and ricotta something or a tomato and lentil something. To me, that's just boring. This is because 9 times out of 10 the chef hasn’t cooked much vegetarian. If you take the time to learn some good vego recipes you will be amazed at the flavour and how your body and mind benefit.

For many years I was in charge of feeding 300 volunteers for the setup and pack down of Australia's largest music festival 'The Woodford Folk Festival' held over Christmas and New Year. In exchange for eight hours of work, each volunteer was given a ticket to the festival and fed three meals a day for the two to three weeks it took to create the amazing atmosphere that is 'Woodfordia'. The ratio of carnivores to herbivores was 40 per cent to 60 per cent, an amazing ratio, as vegetarians usually equate to only about 10 per cent of the population.

Now, some of these guys were like the ‘hezbollah’ of vegetarians, rightfully voicing their ethical stance and moreover demanding that they needed to be rewarded equally to the carnivores; so, if the carnivores got steak, the herbivores wanted something just as special. Luckily, I was up for the challenge. You see, my mother was a hippie from way back, so I had a list as long as my arm of delicious vegetarian dishes in my bag of tricks and I was the first chef to really win the ‘hezbollah’ over. This dish in particular was an absolute crowd pleaser.

Coincidentally, Woodford was the place where I met my wife. She had just jumped ship in the small coastal town of 1770 Queensland after being onboard as crew of a boat delivery from Europe to New Zealand. This was no normal boat but the world’s fastest wave piercing trimaran 'Earthrace' after the team had completed the world record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe in just 65 days powered bio-diesel and 100% carbon neutral. How's that for an adventure!

This recipe uses my Captain Kidd spiced rum BBQ sauce that I’ve made with spiced rum from Tamborine Mountain's distillery and my Gaucho marinade for a marriage made in heaven! Did you know Captain Kidd was a famous 17th century Scottish pirate?

PREP TIME: 15 mins




  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil, plus a splash more for drizzling

  • 1 brown onion, diced

  • 1 large carrot the size of your hand, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 handful of button mushrooms, diced

  • 1 zucchini, diced

  • 250g TVP rehydrated, or veggie mince

  • 375ml vegetable stock (use a cube if you want)

  • 6 tablespoons of CAPTAIN KIDD bbq sauce

  • 2 tbsps soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp caramelised balsamic

  • 2 tbsps of gravy powder

  • 1 tbsps dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsps GAUCHO

  • 1/2 cup edamame (frozen immature soybeans)

  • 3 cobs of corn with the kernels removed (you can use frozen too)

  • 1 cup pizza cheese

  • 1/4 cup grate parmesan

  • Handful garden herbs, chopped


  • 1kg brushed potato

  • 90g butter

  • 50ml milk

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, mushrooms and zucchini. Fry until it smells amazing and add TVP.

  3. Add GAUCHO and all the remaining ingredients except the edamame, corn and cheeses.

  4. Cook over a low to medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring often.

  5. Boil the potatoes until soft, and mash.

  6. Melt butter and milk in microwave; add to mash, and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Fill a deep baking dish half of the way up with the mixture then spoon on the mash bit by bit until covered.

  8. Top with cheeses and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden and crispy .


Serve 'family style' from the casserole dish with a sprinkle of herbs and a nice glass of Tempranillo or Shiraz.


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