When on the quest for a comforting dish to match the cool and wet weather, we often think of southern comfort foods to warm our spirits. But this time, this foodie wanted something outside of traditional southern cuisine in abundance across Mississippi.
One of the beautiful things about the culinary scene in Jackson is that it is home to an eclectic assortment of locally owned, yet internationally inspired restaurants. Authentic Shepherd’s Pie became the mission, Fenian’s Irish Pub became the destination. I’ve never dined at Fenian’s before, but it has made a national name for itself as one of the must stop locations during one of the largest events in Mississippi – the Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade, happening March 17th this year.
The pub has all the remnants of an olde Irish Pub with a slight hipster flair. The menu is infused with authentic Irish cuisine, down to the Irish butter to accompany my bread. So, I had no worries that this was about to be the closest I’ll get to authentic Shepherd’s Pie this side of the Atlantic and this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Before I could get to my entree, I was drawn to the Scotch Egg appetizer. It included a boiled farm egg wrapped in Irish sausage and deep fried with pickled red onion garnish and creole honey mustard. It was crunchy on the outside, slightly runny in the inside, and an interesting mix of flavors and textures throughout. I enjoyed it as I awaited my entree.
When the Shepherds Pie arrived, it was simply beautiful. The mashed potato crust looked like homemade lemon meringue with sprinkles of fresh herbs. Underneath the mashed potatoes I found a piping hot mix of peas, carrots, leaks, and ground lamb. It tasted slightly “game-like” but this girl loved it. It was hearty and filling, but not too heavy. This dish hit the spot for nontraditional comfort food for this foodie.
The lovely lady who prepared my dish was also the one who brought it to me. She shared with me how this dish was prepared and even pointed out the Irish butter I had for my bread. If you’re looking for authentic Irish traditional fare with a southern twist, this is where you want to be.