Volume 2 Chapter 6-3: Fire Fox Traditional Cuisine

 


The next task was the Steak Squad.

It was the main dish for today so I had to put in some extra effort. Boar meat was the second most suitable meat for roasting. I headed over.

From one boar you could only get ten-odd kilograms of meat. We had to get our steak meat from that part of the boar.

If you used thigh meat or rib meat then the flavor of the steak would drop by an entire level. In all honesty I wanted to use sirloin meat…but there wasn’t enough for everyone so I had to give up on the idea.

The Fire Foxes were gathered in front of a giant iron plate and a huge pot. The women in this group were comparatively quite a bit older. It gave off the image of a gathering of housewives.

「Sorry for the wait, I’ll be teaching you how to make a specialty steak today. It’ll be our showpiece for this meal so you need to be responsible.」

I said with some energy, but the Fire Foxes of this group seemed a bit down.

「What’s wrong? You all don’t seem too enthusiastic.」

I asked with some concern before one of the Foxes hesitantly spoke up.

She was a charming older woman in her mid thirties. My brain couldn’t help but nickname her as Ms. Widow.

「Umm Cyril-sama…when you roast boar meat it gets hard and sinewy…it doesn’t taste very good.」
「That’s right. I think it’d be better to boil it.」

The other Foxes nodded their heads in agreement. Certainly normally it would be as they said. This group of Housewives should have a fairly deep understanding of cooking.

The muscularity of boars had many sinews that hardened the meat. If you didn’t treat the meat beforehand it would become hard and almost inedible once you roasted it.

「I told you it was special right? The method I’m going to teach you will make the meat soft and chew-able. Well, I’ll make a test one and let you guys sample it.」

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Rather than explaining everything in words it’d be best to let them try it for themselves.

I went over to the large pot filled with reddish-violet liquid and took out a piece of meat.

This was a piece of meat from Lucy and my home. I had placed it in here before heading out to hunt.

It was about 1 cm thick.

For this method of cooking this thickness was best.

「Alright could you heat up the iron plate?」

Ms. Widow followed my words and heated up the iron plate.

「The right temperature to put the steak on is if you put some water on the pan and it beads up. Everyone remember this.」

I dropped some water onto the pan and in a moment the moisture beaded up and evaporated.

Then I took some of the lard we had made and spread it on the pan allowing it to melt. Then I directly laid the meat on top of that. The smell of meat cooking and cranberries started to spread out.

The liquid I had soaked the meat in was watered down cranberry juice.

「The best way to grill the steak is medium. At this heat you check the face down side of the meat, and once it changes color fully you should flip it over.」

I said and flipped the meat before waiting for both sides to be of a similar color. Then I finally took it off of the pan and put it on a plate.

In truth it was cooked fairly superficially…but in this case where boar fat melts much more easily than cow steak. Boar steak tasted better when it was a bit more raw.

Unlike cow steak where the fat wouldn’t melt without higher temperatures, boar meat could even be delicious raw.

I cut the steak up into little pieces and offered the plate to Ms. Widow. Ms. Widow took a piece and put it into her mouth.

「I can just chew it normally…I’ve never had such a soft cut of meat.」

Upon seeing her reaction the other Foxes grabbed a piece and tried it for themselves.

The delicious, juicy, and soft steak took captive of their tongues.

「See it’s delicious right? However, this is just the meat with one of the steps taken out so the real one will be even better. Okay, let’s get to it. We don’t have much time. After all we have to make 260 portions.」
「Yes, please take care of us!」

Even Ms. Widow was much more enthusiastic after realizing how delicious it would be.

「The secret to the great taste is two-fold. First is this…」

I took out a cooking tool.

It’s appearance made it look like brass knuckles with spikes on them.

「You tenderize the meat with this, but first you need to cut the meat to an appropriate thickness. Make sure you remember this.」

I stood behind Ms. Widow and put my specially made kitchen knife in her hand before putting my hand on her hand to guide her.

「Here come on, hold the meat properly.」
「O-okay」

Ms. Widow said as she blushed and grabbed the steak.

「Here, this is the proper thickness. If you’re trying to make a soft steak then this is ideal. Now keep going, once you’ve done 10 of them you should remember the right way to do it.」

She began cutting with a serious expression.

The finished steak would be around 150 grams. It would be pretty easy to eat.

Halfway through I removed my hands and let her try on her own. By now she had grasped the trick and could now manage on her own.

「Now I’ll show you some magic. I’ll be using this tool to tenderize the meat.」

I put on the brass knuckle shaped cooking tools.

Then I started hitting the meat.

The spikes started piercing into the meat, shredding the muscles and tendons.

I started shifting the point of impact until I had hit the meat on almost all surfaces.

The reason boar meat was so hard was because the muscularity had a lot of tendons. Once you cut them the meat would become soft. I could have used a hammer to smash the meat, but that would cause damage to the cells and change the flavor. I preferred to directly cut the tendons using these knuckles.

「Now here’s the final trick.」

I took the tenderized meat and threw it into the cranberry juice pot.

「Cranberry juice has the effect of breaking down proteins and amino acids. This makes the meat softer and makes the flavor of the proteins and amino acids stronger. It’s killing two birds with one stone. Hitting the meat before makes it so that the juice can penetrate further doubling the effect.」
「Umm….we don’t understand what you’re talking about.」

I smiled wryly and rubbed the back of my head.

I really did it this time. They probably didn’t understand even half of my words.

「It makes the meat softer and more delicious.」
「Okay that makes sense!」


 

One Comment

  1. Brass knuckles huh, I guess that would pretty well imitate the effect of tenderizing meat with a jaccard. The little incisions not only make it softer but the channels they open up allow marinades to more effectively seep into and permeate the meat in less time. Those little incisions also have the effect of more evenly distributing heat and dramatically reducing the cooking time which allows it to retain more moisture.

    I’d be more impressed if he had also used a vacuum process for the cranberry soak. By putting meat into a container with a marinade, sealing it, and suctioning out the air to make a vacuum it forces the pores of the meat to spread out further and allows the marinade to soak into it at a significantly faster rate. It gets the great results of a long marinade in substantially less time.

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