For most dudes, foot-in-mouth is just a metaphor for their unfortunate verbal gaffes. But for Reddit user IncrediblyShinyShart (or as I like to refer to him—ISS), the term is extremely literal. Earlier this week he achieved Reddit infamy with his story of cooking up a portion of his severed foot and eating it in a taco.
ISS was in a motorcycle accident two years ago that resulted in a gruesome compound fracture in his left foot — so bad that he would never be able to walk on it again. And so, he elected to have his foot amputated.
This part, at least, seems plausible according to the grisly photographic evidence ISS has provided. (Click through the photos at your own peril. They show a horrifically mangled foot, exposed tissue and depraved acts of cannibalism. They’re ghastly and not for the faint of heart.)
It’s what happened next that seems dubious. ISS says he invited some friends over, pan-seared his amputated foot and threw a taco party with his tibialis anterior muscle as the meat. ISS didn’t respond to my questions about his foot taco, and therefore, I must urge extreme skepticism — juicy as the story is.
The foot taco nonetheless raises many questions:
- How’d he get the foot back from the doctor?
- Is self-cannibalism a crime?
- Is eating your own foot cannibalism at all, or is that like saying sucking your own dick is a homosexual act?
That said, I’m less concerned with the legal and social implications of this story than with gastronomic ones. Such as:
- What does human foot taste like?
- What’s the best way to prepare one (ya know, just in case)?
- Is a taco really the ideal vessel? (According to ISS, his foot was lean but very beefy.)
- Beyond foot, how should human meat be consumed?
Here then are my preferred methods if I had to eat my (or someone else’s) foot, should the opportunity ever arise…
Slow Braised Foot
MEL’s resident foodie Eddie Kim suggests you prepare human foot in a slow braise with garlic and white wine. Braising is good for tough, lean cuts of meat that don’t have much fat, and this applies to both human and animal feet — it’s mostly muscle tissue down there. In short, braising will make it fall-off-the-tibia tender.
Here’s how (thanks to our friends at Food Network):
- Get a deep pot, such as a Dutch oven. Get it nice and hot and add some olive oil.
- Briefly sear your rotting amputated limb in the pot until it’s a deep, dark brown. Remove the meat (which used to be your foot, but is now your sustenance, weird) and set it aside.
- Add the classic mirepoix mix of vegetables — onions, celery and carrots, in equal parts — to the pot and cook until brown.
- Add the foot (your foot, or is it your “former” foot now that it’s detached, idk) back to the pot.
- Add white wine to halfway up the pot. Bring the pot to a boil, then back down to a simmer. Throw in the garlic.
- Cover the pot, and either leave it on the stovetop or put it in the oven at 350 degrees.
- Let cook for 1.5 to three hours.
- Enjoy extremely tender foot meat, you disgusting savage.
A smoker is ideal for a sinewy cut of meat like the foot you used to use for bipedal locomotion. (Bet you regret taking your foot for granted all those years, huh?)
If you’re in possession of a smoker, such as the popular Big Green Egg grill, you can follow the recipe I derived from this Bon Appétit recipe for pulled pork. (Look, I’ve never cooked a human foot before, you maniac, I’m just trying to make do.)
- Season your foot—easily the most disgusting body part, by the way, how could you ever even consider eating it? — with a dry rub of black pepper, dark brown sugar, paprika and cayenne pepper. Put it in the fridge overnight to sit (thus contaminating all the other food in there).
- Fire up your smoker and bring the heat to between 225 to 250 degrees. Place your seasoned, grotesquely colored foot on the smoker rack. Cover.
- Cook until the center of your foot steak reaches approximately 165 degrees, rubbing it down with barbecue sauce every 45 minutes. Should take about six hours total.
- Shred your foot into bite-size pieces and place between a bun, possibly with a little coleslaw for textural and flavor contrast.
- Serve to your friends, who are either demented enough to willingly eat your foot along with you, or whom you’ve tricked into consuming it.
The foot-eater in question opted for this preparation, and it’s the preferred method for the self-cannibal on-the-go, as it doesn’t take nearly as long as braising or smoking.
Just cut some slices off your rapidly decaying body part and cook them on the stove in a sauté pan with butter or olive oil and aromatics, such as peppers, onion or garlic (you choose—it’s your foot, baby!)
It’ll look something like the below photo, which shows the Redditor’s finished product, before it filled a tortilla.
I’m disturbed by how delicious this looks. Tell me it doesn’t look like some delectable, medium-rare carne asada. *shudder*
According to the self-proclaimed foot-eater, this presentation tastes like “buffalo, but chewier.” Hope you like gamey protein!
John McDermott is a staff writer at MEL. He last wrote about how the new “Dress” is a Father’s Day card about filling dad’s huge underpants.