First draft, notes written immediately after meal…

Recipe: Roast loin of stomach with peaches

Stomach flesh, peaches, butter and thyme is simply one of the most gorgeous cannibal dishes I’ve ever had the pleasure of feasting upon. Great for one, even better to share with your fellow meatheads. You’ve got to try it.

Serves 6

1 x loin of stomach flesh, preferably not too fatty

1 bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped

200g or 7oz butter

salt and freshly ground pepper

8 fresh peaches, halved and stoned

Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7. Score the victim’s skin about 1 cm apart through the fat nearly to the flesh. With a knife carefully part the stomach flesh from your victim’s lower intestines. Don’t throw those intestines away! See my recipe for Intestinal Spaghetti Carbonara, page 37. Use a fork to carefully remove any tapeworms. Pop them in your bathroom cabinet because they’re dead handy for flossing. Scrunch your chopped thyme into the butter with the seasoning and rub a little of the butter…

…I must stop there. A serious issue has come to light. This may be the last recipe to feature in The Naked Cannibal, the world’s first and only cookbook for all you budding Hannibal Lecters out there. The problem is, I’ve gone and broken the first rule of cannibalism, and I’m already feeling the effects. Maybe this is a fitting way in which to end this groundbreaking compendium as it will serve as a reminder of the dangers of eating complete strangers.

Let me take you through the story of this meal from the beginning.

I identified my main course as a single white male, supermaket checkout operative, living alone in a dingy flat in the East End of London. In other words, he met all the criteria of a person better off served on a plate with peaches. I gained entry and used a baseball bat as one of the approved methods to prepare the meat (See Sharp object or blunt instrument? – it’s a matter of taste, page 12). My victim was rather obliging, spotting me long before I struck the first blow. In these instances more often than not the main course moves its head at the last moment, thus requiring repeated blows and resulting in considerable, unnecessary suffering. As it turned out here, one hefty blow was sufficient.

Once I was certain life had been extinguished, I allowed time for the blood to stop circulating – I didn’t want a repeat of the arterial spray from Thighs and Dumpling Stew (page 26). I carefully removed the stomach flesh using a scalpel and a sharp pizza cutter and took it to the kitchen for preparation along with the other ingredients of this tasty meal.

And here was my error – I never checked if the meat was ok. I was so hungry I just cut it, cooked it and ate it. Remember the Seared Carpaccio of Buttock all puckered-up and rancid with piles? Or the Spinach and Testicular Meatballs, totally barnacled with genital warts? You would think I would have learned my lesson after those near misses, but unfortunately, no. ALWAYS make sure the person you are eating is fit for human consumption. And check the medicine cabinet to ensure they’re not taking anything that could taint your food, as verruca cream might for Fillet of Sole with Creamy Toe Salad (page 42).

Back to the recipe. I pushed the seasoned butter and the peaches into the cut I’d made in the stomach flesh. I tied the whole up and popped it into the oven with a few extra veggies I found in the victim’s kitchen. I had about an hour to kill – figuratively speaking – so I found a Jamie Oliver book and worked on a few more cannibalistic recipe variations. When I finally sat down to eat my Roast Loin of Stomach with Peaches I discovered that the meat wasn’t right, but not so bad that it caused any particular alarm bells to ring. I was ravenous and ate the lot, washing it down with an agreeable bottle of Merlot. Immediately after, and knowing it was highly unlikely that my pleasant evening was going to be disturbed in any way, I sat down at the kitchen table, and started to write this recipe. And that’s when I realised something was wrong.

I started to feel drowsy. At first I put it down to fatigue, but given the kill required so little effort, and having dined on easy-cook Granny steaks the previous three evenings, I couldn’t think why I was tired. So then I thought, maybe it’s the wine. But it’s not a pleasant, alcoholic drowsy. I went back to the bedroom where I first discovered my victim, lying on his bed. He looked a little worse for wear now of course, but I cast my mind back to when I clubbed him with the bat, and remembered how he didn’t try to defend himself. At all.

And that’s when I saw the piece of paper on the bedside table. I picked it up and saw handwriting. It was a little shaky and scruffy, with truly appalling spelling and grammar, but legible enough for me to read out loud.

Dear Samantha, it said. I no you wont leave Tom for me and I am gutted because I cant believe you dont believe hes twotiming you even though I gave you them fotos of him and your sister. I love you so much and have even got a job yet you dont care about me and you just want to shag Tom and I cant take it any more. I’m going to proove to you how much I love you. Yours, Nick, Kiss kiss kiss

It came very close to making me sick, but sadly, not close enough. When I put the note back down on the table I saw that a pill had been hiding beneath it. It was a 20mg dose of something, of what I had no idea. Then I saw a small box on the floor beneath the table and I stooped to pick it up. Alpramax, it said on one side, flunitrazepam underneath, and on the reverse I began reading about a maximum strength sleeping pill and warnings galore about taking too many.

The box was empty.

Then I saw a second box on the floor, hiding behind a bedside table leg. I reached for it. Same drug, same thing. Empty.

Cannibals have an unfair reputation for not being particularly picky about their culinary expectations. I hope this cookbook has eloquently demonstrated that nothing could be further from the truth. I was truly horrified to discover that my roast loin of stomach had been tainted by a potentially lethal intake of sleeping pills. I ran to the bathroom and shoved fingers down my throat to make myself sick. In doing so, I found the very thought of a finger buffet quite appealing and in an instant my attempts to throw-up were rendered useless. By now my legs were feeling weak and I stumbled around the flat trying to clear up the mess. Eventually I gave it up as a bad idea, resigned myself to falling asleep – or worse – and I decided to sit down and finish this tale. Because I’m really not sure what’s happening to me.

So this is where I am now. Sitting in a strange man’s flat, a man with a hole in his stomach, and the missing part of his stomach somewhere in mine. I’m going to have a nap now. Perhaps I’ll just sleep off my meal. Or maybe the stupor I’m sliding into will be a little more permanent. Can you overdose on someone else’s overdose? I don’t know. It’s too late for me to worry about it now. But not for you, my fellow meatheads. Just remember the rules and you will be fine.

I ought to end this cautionary tale with something pithy or tongue-in-cheek, like Bon Appetit! but I don’t think I will. Tongue-in-cheek is sooo over-rated.

  • Copyright Phil Thomas. All rights reserved