Chapter 176 -- Home-made Sausage
After we left the Adventurers Guild we headed outside the city. Fer had told me he wanted to go hunting monsters today. He'd spent the past few days in the city and the lack of exercise was getting to him, he claimed. I agreed, reckoning that while he was doing that I'd take the opportunity to try making sausages. I stopped by a butcher's store before we left the city and, just as Aresh-san had said, I was able to buy White Sheep intestine quite easily. It had been pickled in salt to preserve it which was good. It was cheap too so I bought a lot of it.
"Right then Fer, you're heading off to hunt?" I said. Dora-chan buzzed around my head on hearing that, saying "Meeee tooo!" telepathically. It seemed that Dora-chan wanted some exercise as well. Of course, before we met he was a wild monster and not being able to hunt was apparently getting to him.
"Ah, hold on. You should take this if both of you are going hunting." I said. I took out the Magic Bag from my Item Box and hung it around Fer's neck. "Remember that we're leaving Doran tomorrow and we'll have to wait until we get to the next town to have anything you catch today disassembled for meat, so you shouldn't go on a rampage." I looked at the two murderous enthusiasts and sighed. "What I'm saying is, take it easy will you?"
"Nuuu, I suppose so." Fer said grumpily.
"Well, I want to hunt a lot." Dora-chan complained. "I'll just hunt different things instead, for the exercise." I couldn't understand why Fer and Dora-chan were so eager to go out and slaughter the local monsters, was it really enjoyable or fun? It didn't seem like fun from my perspective but...
"Any way, off you go. Come back before it gets dark, okay?"
"Gotcha." Fer headed off into the forest followed by Dora-chan who threw a telepathic "Will dooooo." behind him. Right, now they're out of the way I can make sausages. In fact, I'd made sausages before when I was at home but they had been skinless. They were tasty and I had always wanted to make authentic skinned sausages some time. I'd have to work from my memory of reading websites on how to do it properly now but I'd give it a go.
All of the sites emphasised you had to be careful to keep the meat cool as you minced it and kneaded the mixture. If the meat warmed up the meat got grislier affecting the taste and texture. The ideal temperature to work at is less than ten degrees, apparently. Thinking about that I realised I could get Sui-chan to make me something that would do the job of keeping the meat cool nicely.
"Sui, can you make me something like this, maybe a bit bigger?" I showed Sui-chan the big mixing bowl I use regularly for cooking. "And this too?" I drew a diagram of a simple funnel I'd need when filling the sausage skins later. I didn't have a funnel for her to copy but I reckoned the diagram was clear enough.
"I got it-" Sui-chan said after a few moments. I handed Sui-chan some Mithril ore from my Item Box and she quickly made a big bowl and a funnel for me. Yosh, I had everything I would need to make sausages now.
"Thanks Sui." I said. Right then, the first step is to mince some meat. I fed lots of Orc meat through my Mithril mincer, collecting it in the big Mithril bowl Sui had just made for me. I cranked the handle round and round until I judged I had enough minced meat. After that, I bought seasonings at the Net Super, salt, sugar and lemon juice (in a bottle), coarse black pepper and herb salt. I also bought a large piping bag to use to pack the sausage mixture into the intestines later.
I planned to make two different sorts of sausages, one sort with coarse black pepper and another with a herbal lemon flavour. Firstly though I'd have to remove the salt preserving the intestines so I washed them out with fresh water before leaving them in a bowl of cold water to soak for a while. I got to work adding the seasonings and kneading the minced meat, starting with the coarse black pepper version.
Ice water is used to keep the temperature of the meat mixture low, I had read. Fer had made me ice before with his Ice Magic and I still had some left in my Item Box so I mixed water with lumps of ice then poured the cold liquid into the Mithril mixing bowl. I then added the minced meat, salt, sugar and coarsely ground pepper and mixed it well until it grew sticky. I was worried that the ice water would make everything soggy but it turned out such a small amount of liquid didn't make any real difference. I tried rubbing my hands with lumps of ice to cool them down as well. That wasn't pleasant but I thought it would be worthwhile to keep the meat mixture cool while I was kneading it.
Once that was done I quickly put the cold meat mixture in the Item Box so it would stay cold until I was ready to use it. I repeated the same process but adding herb salt and lemon juice to the minced Orc meat to make herbal lemon flavour sausage stuffing and put that away in my Item Box too.
Now all I had to do is fill the thoroughly rinsed White Sheep intestines with the minced meat. I started by attaching the Mithril funnel Sui-chan had made to the piping bag I had bought from the Net Super. I took the first sausage skin and stretched it out straight with no kinks before flattening it to remove any trapped air. I filled the piping bag with some cold minced meat mixture from my Item Box, carefully squishing the bag flat to remove air from that too. I then squeezed out some of the mixture and cut it off -- that was supposed to catch any air bubbles in the funnel -- before putting the funnel into the end of the intestine and starting pumping the mixture in. When it started oozing out the far end I tied it off, being careful not to tear the skin. I added a little more mixture, not too much and then twisted the skin repeatedly at about the right length to make each individual sausage by cutting them at the twisted part.
I repeated this process several times to make two kinds of sausage, coarse black pepper flavour and herb lemon flavour. By the time I was finished I had made a lot of sausages. I put them in a plastic container, snapped the lid in place and stored them away in my Item Box for now.
This kind of newly-made sausage is the sort that really needs to be boiled to toughen up the skin before it can be fried in a frying-pan to prevent it breaking but it should be perfect for grilling on a barbecue stove, so that's what I was planning to do with them. However, just grilling sausages seemed a bit lacking, especially given the generous size of my new barbecue stove so I decided to prepare some meat to grill with them. Yesterday's barbecued meat had been grilled plain and eaten with a sauce dip, today I'd try marinating some meat in a home-made sauce before grilling it.
I opened up Net Super again and bought the materials for the marinade. Soy sauce, sugar and sake, garlic bulbs and green onions, a pack of ground sesame seeds, sesame oil and 100% apple juice, I put them in the cart and paid for them. I went with raw garlic this time rather than my usual squeeze tubes of garlic paste because freshly-grated garlic tastes better in a marinade.
I chopped the green onions finely and grated the garlic bulbs and put them in a large bowl with the soy sauce and other ingredients as well as a splash of apple juice as the secret ingredient before stirring them up. After that I added generous cuts of Bloody Horn Bull meat and Orc meat and let them soak in the marinade for about 20 minutes, massaging them and poking them with a fork.
That was all the preparations done and the sun was starting to set. Fer and Dora-chan would be back soon, I hoped, so it was the right time to get the barbecue fired up and ready to cook with. Not having an obliging Dwarf blacksmith to hand today, after taking my custom-made barbecue stove from my Item Box I had to buy a large paper sack of charcoal from the Net Super. I put the charcoal in the removable tray under the grill and got it lit and let it come up to temperature and then it was time to try out my home-made sausages. I put some of both flavours on the grill, careful not to let them burn, turning them to brown evenly as the odour of cooking sausages wafted into my nostrils.
Suddenly I felt a weight on my shoulder -- it was Sui-chan, attracted by the smell.
"Smells good~" she said.
"You're right Sui-chan, they do smell good." I agreed, studying the sausages. Were they brown enough, had they cooked through yet? I broke one in half, yes that looked all right. Let's try it... oh yeah. Nice and juicy and the flavouring was just right. Really delicious.
"Is it good ~ Sui wants to eat too-"
"Yes of course, have a taste Sui." I picked another sausage off the grill with the tongs and passed it over my shoulder to Sui-chan, warning her it was hot.
"Wow, it's delicious! The meat juice comes out from the thin skin!-"
My first attempt to make sausages and it looks like they were really tasty. Yosh!
"Ah, why are you eating before we got back?"
"Nuuuu, you couldn't wait could you?"
Oh, Fer and Dora-chan have just returned. "No, I was just tasting the sausages I just made. I'll be cooking dinner soon." I explained hastily as the stares from the two hardened. "How did your hunting go?" I asked, trying to change the subject.
"Pretty well." Fer said off-handedly. "I dropped the ones we couldn't fit in the Magic Bag over there." Fer glanced over to one side where two big monsters were lying.
...What? I blinked a few times and then looked again but my eyes hadn't deceived me, they were still there... that one on the left had to be a rhinoceros, didn't it? And the other on the right couldn't be anything other than a sabre-toothed tiger, yeah? Appraisal, Appraisal...
Yup, they were a [ Gray Rhino ] and a [ Saber Tiger ], both of them A-ranked monsters.
I sighed. "Didn't I tell you two guys, 'don't go on a rampage?' Didn't I tell you to take it easy?"
Fer looked abashed but rallied bravely. "Well, uhhh, they were just there in front of us and..." Dora-chan in contrast was totally oblivious, buzzing around happily. "What's the problem? I beat the Saber Tiger. Amazing, isn't it? Yay for meeeee!"
Fer, you totally forgot what I said and ran wild, didn't you? And Dora-chan, stop behaving like you did a good thing. I sighed again but the two dead monsters weren't going to spring back to life or disappear. And the Magic Bag was full, apparently, but with what? I decided I would wait to find out later.
"Ah, tell me what else you caught after we finish eating dinner, okay?"
"Oh, that's a good idea." said Fer, eager to change the subject.
"All this hunting has made me hungry." Dora-chan said, concentrating on the emptiness of his belly.
Right then, I'd deal with the Magic Bag's contents later, after I'd had my own dinner. To start with I took cooked sausages off the grill and served them on plates to Fer, Dora-chan and Sui.
"Hmmm, these are pretty tasty. I could eat a lot of them." Fer gobbled up the pile of sausages on his plate with relish.
"When the thin skin on the outside goes Pop! the juices squirt out from the insides! Delicious!" Dora-chan was enjoying his serving of sausages too.
"The gravy comes out juicy and delicious~. Sui really likes these!"
The sausages are very popular, I'm glad I made them. I switched over to the lemon herb salt sausages to try them out, to see how the were different from the first ones I cooked, the black pepper flavoured sort. Oh yes, also really delicious in a different way, the scent of herbs and lemon tickling my nose with a refreshing tang. But I was missing something... ah, beer. When it comes to drinks that go well with barbecue, it definitely has to be beer as I had told Aresh-san yesterday.
I opened the Net Super and bought some beer, Company A's strong dark beer this time. A swallow of beer, glug glug, a sausage, munch munch, a swallow of beer, puaaaah... oh yeah. This was a great combination but the strong beer was dangerous, it was so easy to drink a lot of it when eating these sausages. While I was thinking about that, everyone said """Seconds!"""
I put out more sausages on the plates, the lemon herb salt ones this time and then got the Bloody Horn Bull meat and the Orc meat I had marinated earlier out of my Item Box and put them on the hot grill. From the moment they started cooking the smell tickled my nose. Boy, they smelled good. I kept a close eye on them, turning them over to cook through.
When I thought they were ready I tried a bit to taste. The outside was seared brown and crunchy, sealing in the juices and the delicious marinade inside, salty and sweet with a sesame flavour. It's a marinade I made a few times back home. I dished up the grilled Bloody Horn Bull meat and the Orc meat on fresh plates and put them down for the Gluttonous Trio since I knew they'd still be hungry.
"Right, here's some grilled meat." I said unnecessarily as Fer, Dora-chan and Sui-chan dived in.
"Oh, this meat smells delicious as well." Fer said telepathically, his jaws working overtime.
"I can still eat some more." Even little Dora-chan was stuffing his face with the barbecued meat on his own dish.
"Meat~" Sui-chan said simply.
Good, isn't it? Yeah, charcoal-grilled meat is delicious. I helped myself to some of both types of meat, alternating bites with sips of the strong black beer. Yosh, the beer went well with the meat too. Both the sausages and the grilled meat were really appreciated by all.
After we finished eating and I cleaned up the stove I turned my attention to the contents of the Magic Bag. Inside were another Gray Rhino, a Black Serpent, two Cockatrices and a Giant Dodo. I looked at the second Gray Rhino and back to Fer who pretended indifference. So, now I have two Gray Rhinos... were they edible, maybe?
"Hey Fer, can you eat Gray Rhino?" Fer looked away. "Hey, Fer?"
"Uh, no." Fer admitted after a long pause. Dora-chan thought that was funny, flying in circles around the Fenrir's head and taunting him.
"Fuhahahaha, Gray Rhino meat is way too tough to eat and yet the big guy went and hunted two of them. Hahaha!"
Fer's head snapped around. "Nuuuu, talking about hunting something you can't eat, aren't you the same Dora? You ever tried eating Saber Tiger meat? It smells terrible."
"Urrrr..." Dora-chan quietened down at that.
I sighed again. "Hey, Fer and Dora-chan, next time you go hunting make sure you only subjugate monsters that we can eat, okay?" Honestly, with the money we got from selling drops from Doran's dungeon they really don't need to hunt monsters we can only sell for materials. Monsters for eating are much more useful to us now.
I put the Gray Rhinos and the Saber Tiger away in my Item Box for now thinking I'd figure out what to do with them later. The Black Serpent and Giant Dodo and two Cockatrices, I'd get them disassembled for meat in the next town we visited.
"Well, let's go back to the city!" We followed the road back to the city as dusk fell. Tomorrow we would finally leave Doran, heading for the city of Neihof.