An offal dish, plated elegantly and seasoned with herbs and a savory sauce|
- 1 large fox liver
- 1 sheep’s tongue
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 Tbsp malt vinegar
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- Assorted chiles
- 1 Tbsp coarse black pepper
Pix Castellois is a mix of different exotic ingredients adapted for consumption by eccentric Ithanian palettes. The dish began as a Vixhall resort food and has since become slightly more widely adopted by upper-class Ithanian populations in other areas. Because of its historical origin, the dish is considered synonymous with the old lineage of House Ivrae. Peasant wilds-foragers sometimes mock Pix Castellois as an example of upper-class decadence taken to the extreme, but for Ithanians it represents both an object of history and an appreciation of what the wilds have to offer. Despite its odd ingredients, the dish’s taste is gamey but surprisingly less-offensive than the usual dishes of wealthy Ithanian tastes.
After the relegation of the Ivrae Family to Vixhall following their capitulation of the Imperial throne to another dynasty, the family sought to discover and redevelop aspects of their Ithanian high culture in their homeland. Their Vixhall lands provided large swathes of river lands lined with sparse vegetation, and court huntsmen provided their chefs with large quantities of wild game. Ithanian chefs were driven to incorporate new and unconventional ingredients to satisfy the demanding tastes of Vixhall’s noble population. They took advantage of their gastronomical experience, the surplus of new wild ingredients, and the region’s high-yield agricultural husbandry to construct a new “high society” dish. Their result was built from both wild hunting and forage as well as the region’s animal harvest and was a resounding success among Vixhall’s splendorous noble estates. Due to its status as a dish built to flatter the bizarre tastes of Ithanian high culture, Pix Castellois never caught on as a popular dish outside of Vixhall. However, over the past few years it has very gradually proliferated to Loiree, Ithania proper and other Ithanian pockets around the Regalian Archipelago. While it is still not eaten commonly outside of the hunting estates of wealthy Ithanian families, the dish has gradually become a more frequent sight.
To make the exotic dish Pix Castellois, the chef should first gather the whole chiles and coarse black pepper necessary for the dish and set them to bloom in warm water under the sun for several hours. As fox meat is tough, and the viscera are even tougher, the fox liver is first also brined for several hours in water flavored with several handfuls of salt. It is then cooked over high heat in a bed of chiles and spice, seasoned with an additional pinch of black pepper, and optionally flavored with lemon juice. The sheep’s tongue, which is much more delicate, is lightly braised in a mixture of garlic, spice, molasses, and malt vinegar. Finally, the sheep’s tongue is plated over the fox liver and ringed by the whole chiles that cooked inside the same pan as the liver.
- Pix Castellois has the dark fall colors of game meats, though its brown palette is peppered speckled with the remnants of cooked spice. The tongue is draped over the darker, purple liver like a blanket.
- When cooked, Pix Castellois is dominated by the liver smell of wet rust, but the added herbs mellow the dish considerably. As a result, when prepared properly it smells much like a rich beef steak.
- Pix Castellois is very gamey and accompanied by a beefy flavor that feels chalky in the mouth. However, the herbs cut through the savory acidity of the dish and improve it considerably by adding a tang of spice to the finish.
- The most common substitution in Pix Castellois is the fox liver, which is often swapped for goose liver by those that prefer a less gamey and more buttery flavor.
- For some aspiring Ithanian families, Pix Castellois serves as a cautionary tale of a notable family’s fall from grace and is avoided as a taboo dish.
- Pix Castellois is sometimes parodied by lower Ithanian classes in wayward roadhouses, where it is a novelty because it uses strange ingredients generally avoided by peasant folk as foul-tasting.
HydraLana on 10/21/2018.|
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