The Celtic Hearth, a quaint Irish Pub, nestled in the heart of St. John’s downtown core, has brought Newfoundland wilderness to its menu this year, with delectable Moose Burgers.
As hunting season on the island opened, hunters with special licenses were able to sell the meat they hunt to local business. This presented Celtic Hearth with the opportunity to bring Moose to the dining and cultural experience of their menu.
With fresh ingredients and the restaurant’s homegrown atmosphere, this new menu item is dripping in backwoods goodness.
“The whole recipe is top secret, but I can tell you that along with the fresh local moose, we do use herbs and spices and some caramelized onion, and then there are a couple of secret ingredients after that, ” said Brian Piercy, head chef at the Celtic Hearth.
The recipe, he admits, could never take the place of mom’s home-cooked specialties. However, the burger itself takes a step away from this traditional method of cooking and forges a new culinary experience all its own.
“We put a lot of effort into the overall recipe,” said Piercy. “I know traditionally; moose burgers were just moose and a few spices. We go a lot farther with it. I can’t tell you the real secret, but yah know we add other ingredients that make it our own. To top the whole burger experience off, our burger buns are made in-house. Plus, we are proud to say that we use local ingredients wherever possible. For example, we used locally sourced bacon and locally sourced cheddar cheese,” said Piercy.
Locally sourced meats, cheese, and vegetables are something Piercy and the Celtic Hearth take pride in. For them it is a constant dance, seeking to find products that are locally grown and cultivated, for not only their moose burgers but also for all the recipes on the menu. Of course, a moose burger by itself is not a meal, and like any good burger, Piercy recommends The Celtic Hearths in-house French fries to go along with it.
“I would strongly recommend our French fries. We source the potatoes out of PEI. They’re almost like a Yukon gold potatoes, so they are exquisite for French fries,” said Piercy.
This local Moose hunting tradition, only adds to the authenticity of the cultural experience of bringing Newfoundland wilderness to the table. “So the way it works is you have to have a permit to sell moose. The hunter would contact us; we give them their license permit number. They call the Department of Wildlife and get a number to sell it to us. Then we take it to one of the local butchers here, to get it chopped and ground up into burger meat, and then we are in the business of making moose burgers” said Piercy.
As for the taste, Piercy says, “that depends upon where the animal was taken from, and the plant life it would have eaten there.” A moose hunter himself, Piercy says you really can taste the difference between meat from different parts of the island.
“Growing up, my parents and my grandfather used to say that the best place to get moose was in central Newfoundland. I’ve had moose from all the regions, and there is a slight difference in the taste but to say that one is way better than the other, I’m not too sure” said Piercy with a smile. Celtic Hearth, a quaint Irish Pub, nestled in the heart of St. John’s downtown core, has brought Newfoundland wilderness to its menu this year, with delicious moose burgers.
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