The Viral Big Mac Tartare Is Both Fancy And Vile

The Big Mac has become more than McDonald's' defining burger, and is now an inspiration for other recipes far and wide. It turns out copycat Big Mac sauces were just the beginning. A recent rendition of the burger took a dark — but expensive — turn, posing the question: what if instead of medium-well, your Big Mac came completely uncooked? Or, in fancier words, in the form of steak tartare?

A recent Food Beast video on Instagram and TikTok debuted something dubbed "the Forbidden Big Mac," which is a classic Big Mac with one major tweak: Instead of cooked burger patties, it uses raw meat. The reaction was mixed.

It basically resembles two helpings of steak tartare sandwiched between burger buns, complete with classic fixings: shredded lettuce, pickles, American cheese, and of course, Big Mac sauce. The video begins innocuously, with the chef making what he describes as "the fanciest version of Big Mac sauce you've ever seen." He's right: This elevated take on the burger's mystery sauce includes mayonnaise, confit tomatoes, and pickles blended together. 

But this burger had to live up to what the caption promises to be a "100% Raw Big Mac." The chef chops up a raw sirloin into tartare-sized chunks, mixing the raw chunks with a small amount of the sauce and forming into patties. (He is NOT using ground beef such as McDonald's uses in its burgers, which is not safe to eat raw, per the Department of Agriculture.) The meat may be fancy, but all of the other toppings are fairly humble in comparison.

Is the Big Mac tartare a step too far?

In this age of endless food-related experimentation on social media, it's hard to know where exactly to draw the line. Maybe the line should be at raw meat on a Big Mac, though. Outlandish takes on the McDonald's classic, from Big Mac tacos to Big Mac and cheese abound, but this one edges into sketchy territory.


We made and ate a raw Big Mac 🍔

♬ original sound – Foodbeast

The Food Beast chef instantly proclaimed it was "fantastic," declaring it to be the "best Big Mac I've ever had." But Instagram commenters were skeptical, to say the least. One wrote: "Food poisoning intensifies," another wondered "Is he dead?" One viewer summarized the general outrage in a single word: "Jail."

Plenty are probably wondering "Why?" Though, when it comes to spins on one of America's most ubiquitous fast food burgers, perhaps it's better to ask "Why not?" To be fair, tartare is (usually) perfectly safe to eat, per McGill University, so why would it be any less so in the shape of a Big Mac? Those pickles aren't tainting the quality of the meat, just pushing the dish into the uncanny valley between Michelin-starred tartare and Wisconsin's Cannibal Sandwiches. Whether you find Food Beast's creation appealing or revolting, it appears that many agree this "forbidden Big Mac" is forbidden for a reason.