Wheeling, WVa. (WTRF) Chef Matt Welsch at the Vagabond Kitchen in Wheeling is giving back this Saint Patrick’s Day with the help of the Saint Clairsville Rotary Club to benefit the food insecurity project.
Chef Welsch says, “This is a great opportunity because it will bring people out. They’re going to be supporting us by buying the food, but we’ll also be supporting the food insecurity project and they get to eat great food, so it’s triple wins.”
Welsch is opening his restaurant today to the public to serve his famous irish stew.
The proceeds go to the to help make sure families don’t go hungry.
Welsch also says, “Our mission here at the Vagabond kitchen is to do handcrafted food, rooted in the local community so for us each goes hand in hand. We are feeding the community in more ways than one.”
The chef describes how he makes his stew, “The first thing we do with our Irish stew is dredge the meat in flour and spices. Then we’ll start that off in a hot pan with some garlic oil and get a good sear on it. After that we’ll take the meat out and add the vegetables in and cook those until they’re translucent and then put the meat back in. Once that’s altogether and in a happy place, good and warm then we put the potatoes into it. Then we take our stock to get our broth and we cook it all down with some beef paste, anchovies and we deglaze it with stout beer and red wine and it really makes just a really simple, delicious Irish stew.”
Welsch adds that it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to prepare and only a few hours to cook down until ready. He says that time allows for the flavors to come together.
Chef Welsch says a traditional soda bread is something he likes to serve with the stew, “That is just a very simple compliment to the stew just so you don’t miss anything, something to sop up the broth with, anything when you’re chowing down.”
He says good food is made with good ingredients he finds locally.
Welsch says, “We source all of our food as locally as possible. We call everything out on our menu so everyone can see where all their food is from and our food is made in-house so it’s fresh local food.”
Wheeling Brewing owner and brewer Jimmy Schulte, who has been busy making another installment of his beer’s Shamrock edition, believes in keeping things at a local level even on Saint Patrick’s Day.
“For us it’s all about dealing with local businesses and dealing with local things. We take our normal local product we make it look slightly different. We do everything that we can to work with as many other local businesses in the area to help not one place prosper but everybody to be successful, ” he continues.
Schulte says his motto is keeping it local since 2011 and serving Centre Market since 2014.
Saint Patrick’s Day may have originated in Ireland, but an Irish American from New York invented green beer.
Did you know that green beer has been around for more than a century? The popular drink with the emerald hue has stayed an American Saint Patrick’s Day staple since 1914. It is true to say that the Irish of Ireland wouldn’t take a sip of the stuff, but here in the U.S. people always enjoy seeing the green suds.
“It is a holiday that people look to go to different bars to drink green beer. So it is a holiday that people want to go out, drink beer and be responsible and do that those things while they’re being social. They’re getting out and trying all those different varieties that are out there.”
History has it that Irishmen and Irishwomen would put a Shamrock in their beer not to turn it green, but to give them good luck.
Schulte says, in addition to green beer, he has even tried to turn beer red, pink and even purple by adding blueberries and hibiscus, but nothing seems to go as fast his green brew.
He says, “Holidays definitely see some extra revenue especially in a time when we need it.”
Schulte says more than 100 beers will be poured at his bar this Saint Patrick’s Day.