Editor: King of the End
The day of the Four Great Dukes’ banquet has finally arrived. This is the test of my true value. I’ve just finished the last round of checks of the preparations in the kitchen hall. Tina and the others are with me too. The only tasks remaining are those which only she can do. It’s past the afternoon now, the schedule is tight, so we must start the cooking process. Nearly every task has been progressing well. Currently, my only worry is…… The only ingredient that has to be procured today and hasn’t arrived yet.
“Head chef Kurt! The ingredient is here!”
A subordinate who came into the kitchen hall called me. Those are the exact words that I’ve been hoping for.
My requested ingredient has finally arrived. It’s the venison. I requested it from the hunters whom I met in the town back then. A fresh venison that has just been caught early in the morning today.
“Carry it to the kitchen hall, now. I need to prepare it.”
A splendid deer enters the room. Even the bloodletting step is perfectly executed. Moreover, the condition is great. It seems to be fatally wounded in one shot, because there’s no damaging wounds. The best deer.
“Head chef Kurt. Freshly caught game isn’t that tasty, are you sure you want to use this?”
“Fresh game isn’t that tasty, indeed.”
When the meat comes from a freshly hunted game, there’s no umami component in it. It will only get intensified after being aged.
“Then why deliberately use a deer that’s hunted just for this event?”
“Because I won’t use the meat. ……What I’m going to use is this. The organ meat is more delicious the fresher it is.”
With a dismantling knife, I cut the deer’s belly open, then take out the liver. It’s a beautiful gleaming deep red color. A deer liver.
“No way, are you planning to serve an intestine to the Four Great Dukes?”
“What are you talking about? Liver is the most delicious of the innards. A wild beast will devour the innards first and foremost from their prey. And the fresher it is, the more delectable it is. A deer liver’s deliciousness is ranked at the very top among all livers. It’s the most delicious part in the world. I’ll slice it raw into a sashimi for you.”
My subordinates with their mouths agape glance at me, who already goes back to deal with the liver. There’s a trick to a deer liver’s treatment. Deers have no gall bladder, so the bile is stored inside the liver. This bile fluid is yellowish green and tastes bitter; it’s also dangerous and bad for our body. It has to be removed first.
I slice the liver perfectly in two. In the center of the liver, there’s a hollow part, much like the core of an apple. I threw away the bile stored in there, and then wash it with running water.
I barely touch the parts above the bile, only sifting through the top part of the liver as the bottom part where the bile continuously flowing to is separated into another plate.
Even if I wash it diligently, the bottom part where the bile is flowing to won’t taste that good. It’s tasty enough, but I will only serve the most delicious part for the Four Great Dukes.
“Tina, freeze this liver for me.”
Tina’s Fire magic arte…… Or in fact, the arte of controlling heat, is freezing the liver at great speed. This step is necessary to kill the germs and parasites. Deer have exceedingly warm body temperatures, so the liver can be casually eaten raw, but I can’t be too careful.
After properly frozen, it’s slowly thawed by Tina’s power. This step prevents food poisoning.
“Now, then, another step to do.”
No matter how much I tell them that liver sashimi is delicious, I can’t serve it just after slicing like this. I put a wire mesh on top of charcoal fire that I’ve prepared before, then I put on those liver slices to grill on the surface.
Doing this will stimulate the umami. After the round liver has turned into a grilled color, I cool it down by dunking it into iced water. And then, I slice it thinly before putting the slices on a plate. The outer skin is in the color of an appetizing dark brown, while the center is the color of vibrant ruby. The secret ingredient in this dish is the clear top liquid of miso, made from fermented soybean. It brings out a flavor similar to shoyu soy sauce. It’s not something spread in this world.
“Now it’s done. The best sashimi in the world. Try some.”
I pass the cuts that can’t be served to the guests to my subordinates. He gulps. The dark brown and ruby and the emerald decoration. That kind of vivid appearance should stimulate his appetite, right? And so he put some in his mouth.
“This is amazing. It’s sweet and firm, it’s not smelly at all, this is the first time I tasted something like this. So venison can be this delicious?”
“If it’s not a freshly caught deer, the taste won’t be this flavorful. That’s how important a fresh game is.”
The liver’s sweet flavor’s true identity is glycogen, and deer liver stores more than four times as much glycogen as cow liver. There’s no other liver that hides this kind of overwhelmingly delicious flavor besides the deer kind.
Deer liver is delicious, it has a very low content of fat, and not a drop of oil is used in cooking the dish, so it’s very easy on the stomach.
I don’t wish to use butter or oil in my ideas of the full course. A full course with a harmony of umami. I’ll serve the best while still holding that principle.
The hors d’oeuvres’ duty is to introduce what kind of full course dishes that will be served from now on, as well as building anticipation towards it. After eating seared deer liver, they definitely will be astounded and their anticipation will go straight through the roof.
“Head chef Kurt, I understand that you’re going to cook something amazing, but isn’t the amount of the liver too small? Only with this.”
“Seared Deer Liver is a special dish that will only be served to the Four Great Dukes. We still haven’t managed to prepare enough freshly caught deer’s liver after all.”
The other nobles will have to settle with Tuna Steak Tartare.
“In that case, it’ll be enough for sure!”
“Maybe you’re truly lucky. You can boast that you’ve eaten a dish that no one but the Four Great Dukes has eaten.”
“Yes, it’s a great honor! I won’t forget this gratitude for life!”
He looks like he greatly appreciates that dish, because he’s been staring at me with deeply yearning eyes.
“Now then, it’s the end of the allocated time for making the hors d’oeuvres. Now let’s start cooking the rest of the dishes too. There’s not much time left.”
With that, the kitchen hall exudes a war zone-like bustle. I also start my cooking, because the dishes presented to the Four Great Dukes will all be made by myself.
Finally, the banquet has begun. In Renalier’s ducal estate, the hall designated for parties has been prepared for a long time. Inside the hall, only the best decorations were used for this party.
Everything in that room is of the highest grade: every painting, every chandelier, every plate. There’s no way the Arnold House can buy even a single one of them.
The Four Great Dukes are sitting at the highest elevated spot in the hall, around the desk that’s exclusively prepared for them, while the other nobles are gathered around a gigantic dining table.
Simply from the special seats, the Four Great Dukes look like heavenly existences above the clouds for the rest of the people surrounding the gigantic table: the margraves, marquesses, viscounts, and me.
A banquet that could gather this much honor doesn’t exist anywhere else, right? I’m blending in with the servants who are carrying over to serve the dishes instead of being idle. It’s Duchess Renalier’s order. I must appear as a waiter and explain the dishes as necessary.
When I go to the elevated floor designated for the Four Great Dukes, all eyes are focused on me. I can feel a special, bizarre power from one of Four Great Dukes, the one who was involved in that incident yesterday, Duke Härtling.
Those eyes are testing me. After all of them received the apéritif and the hors d’oeuvres, Duchess Renalier stands up. There’s a microphone in her hand.
“Today, I express my greatest gratitude to all of you who has gathered in my place for this banquet.”
That’s really straightforward. I can say that we are peers of the same age, but she has the style of an empress.
“The full course of this occasion is something that I, and the ducal house of Renalier, the governor of the Eastern province of the empire, have prepared with all of our might. I promise you that this is truly the newest creation, and the most delicious meal that you’re going to experience.”
People in the vicinity are making noises. They naturally would, in a sense. It’s because the host of the Four Great Dukes’ banquet is on a rotation. If someone says that it’s the newest and best in that kind of occasion, it’s equal to saying that she will surpass the other members of the Four Great Dukes.
Every time, in order to demonstrate their might, the Four Great Dukes will prepare the best full course. No one will ever say those words thoughtlessly.
I wryly smile. I didn’t think that the hurdles would be stacked up high in the open. However, I have no intention to falter here. I’ve definitely made the dishes that will live up to those words.
“Well, then, everyone. Let’s have a toast. In the honor of the greater growth of our empire.”
In this place, every single person raises their glass.
“To the empire!”
With that, the banquet officially began.
The nobles drink their apéritif to quench their throats, and then they reach out to taste my hors d’oeuvres.
- Deer Liver Sashimi recommendation by I think the site is about restaurant review
- How to cook a deer liver by Georgia Pellegrini
I wonder if you can buy me some stews? ????? https://ko-fi.com/isecai
Because it’s quite triggering, I will show the raw version down here. Don’t look if you’re vegetarian!
I don’t know about you, but it looks beautiful to me!
That being said, I hate the taste of cooked livers (chicken, cows), it’s always grainy and metallic. Yuck. I like cow lungs, though lol, it’s chewy after cooked. But I’m willing to try a fresh one if, like Kurt said, the fresher it is, the tastier it gets! (But it’s probably important to say that raw liver sashimi is banned in Japan…)
Also: the duchess has a microphone? They have microphone in this world? roflmao