Have you ever wondered? You know. What does human meat taste like? Putting this blog and cookbook together has encouraged me to ponder this question. You know it was going to come up. Well, thanks to Chef Jim Thomlinson of London Mess, we now have an interesting approximation.
Jim and his conspirator, Emma Thomas of Miss Cakehead, partnered with FOX UK to create a publicity event for Season Five of The Walking Dead. They did their research — all book learning, I’m sure — into what cannibals have documented through the years what they thought human flesh tasted like. Jim’s recipe used pork, veal, and beef bone marrow. Fans of the show came to a pop-up grill in East London called Terminus Tavern and were served these burgers with some bacon ketchup on the side.
As I live nowhere near London, I decided I would attempt to make the burgers myself and share the fun.
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground veal
1 lb beef marrow bones (or 1/4 lb bacon, minced)
salt and pepper, to taste
Right off the bat you are probably thinking, “Ewww… beef marrow?!” That’s assuming you got past, “Ewww… human burgers?!” Bone marrow is actually quite delicious roasted and spread on toast. I’ve had it at The Salty Sow and it is divine. This is really little more than a rich fat that adds a velvety quality to the burgers. Ask your butcher if they can get you some. My local gourmet store sold some from Rumba Meats.
If you can’t find marrow bones or soup bones at your local grocer, or if you just can’t get past the “bone marrow” factor, I think some strips of bacon would suffice. Bacon is mostly fat and the smoke and saltiness would go well. Just don’t cook the bacon before using it. Chop or grind it right up raw with the rest of the meat.
So… what does it taste like? I don’t have Hannibal Lecter’s palate, but I quite enjoyed them. They were nothing like beef burgers, of course. The pork and veal were a nice complement to each other. The marrow brought it all together in a nice solid patty. I would definitely make these again.
This is the perfect meal for your watch party for The Walking Dead Season 5, which premieres October 12 on AMC in the U.S., or October 13 on FOX in the U.K.. Hell, I’ll probably serve them again when NBC’s Hannibal premeires in late Spring 2015. Unitl then, there’s reruns.Bon appétit!