Shepherd’s Pie at the Kilt and Castle Pub in Yellowknife
The dish you see pictured above probably doesn’t look much like a Shepherd’s Pie as most people know it, but it was exactly that, if a little unorthodox. It was served to me at the Kilt and Castle Pub in Yellowknife on a particularly cold evening, and what actually turned out to be two meals in one just hit the spot perfectly.
The Kilt and Castle had only recently opened its doors just a few days down from the Yellowknife Inn. I didn’t stay at that hotel very often but my travel Service had booked me in there for one layover in Yellowknife, as the hotels I usually preferred were all booked. I was returning from a grueling Court Session in Kugluktuk. The trip from that little community had involved hours and hours of hanging around at the airport due to airline issues and by the time I arrived in Yellowknife I was more than ready for a few beers and a good meal.
The Kilt and Castle turned out to be just what I needed. The Hotel restaurant was closed and I was in no mood for fast food. It is a very comfortable spot, done in dark wood, and the menu, which largely features Pub Grub, had a slightly Irish slant to it. One can select Boxty , or Irish Dumplings, and for burgers, they offer a Guinness BBQ Burger and a ‘Drunken Irish’ Chicken Burger. I am not sure, though, if it is the chicken who is drunk, or the Irishman who cooks it….
Anyway, I chose the ‘Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie‘ as it sounded very interesting. It was described as consisting of a ‘bed of ground beef with peas, carrot and corn, topped with mashed potatoes and Irish Stew. Irish Stew comes separately on the menu, so this selection effectively offered you the choice of two meals in one.
Well, you can’t see it in the picture, but there was, in fact, a little Shepherd’s Pie at the bottom of the dish. Made with ground beef and onion and a mashed potato topping. It was decent, if not especially remarkable, but the Irish Stew ladled on top was terrific. It was made with generous chunks of beef, potatoes, carrot and turnip in a rich gravy that helped moisten everything else. It was good, hearty comfort food and really made up for a harrowing day.