According to Wikipedia:
“Scrapple is a savory mush in which cornmeal and flour, often buckwheat flour, are simmered with pork scraps and trimmings, then formed into a loaf. Small scraps of meat left over from butchering, too small to be used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste, a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition.”
I discovered several recipes for this dish online the other night while I was looking through a fantastic .pdf I downloaded from the website of a sausage making supply company in Canada called ‘Stuffers’. The document contained 140 recipes for sausages and cured meat products. I was instantly allured by the obvious economic motivations of scrapple, which was geared toward using up leftovers, bulked up with cereal. Several hours of Internet research followed in the pursuit of recipes and ideas. Not put off by groans by the other half of space wildschwein that my now beloved ‘scrapple’ sounded ‘bloody awful’, I set to making a version of my own. The resulting dish turned out to be really good; the groans ceased! Authentic scrapple is apparently served at breakfast with maple syrup or ketchup, though we had it for dinner with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes and peas, and found it highly satisfactory in this context. While traditional scrapple contains pork offal, I only had a pork hock on hand so I used that. The recipe went something like this…
1 meaty pork hock
a few chicken bones (I used a chicken backbone)
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stalk of celery, roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 beef stock cubes
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon tried thyme
2 small dried bay leaves
water to cover
1 & 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 onion, finely chopped
1 rasher bacon, finely chopped
- Place the pork hock, chicken bones, roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery, stock cubes, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and garlic in a stock pot and add enough water to cover.
- Bring to the boil.
- Simmer, covered with a lid, for about 2.5 hours until the pork hock is very tender and the skin is soft and the meat begins to fall off the bone.
- Regularly skim off any fat or scum that comes to the surface.
- After the 2.5 hours, remove the pork hock and chicken bones, and side these aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Strain the stock, pushing down hard on the vegetables to remove any extra juice still trapped within them. Discard the vegetables (our chooks loved them, though we’re sure the compost would, too!)
- In a pan, heat some oil and saute the finely chopped onion and bacon for about 10 minutes. Add this to the strained stock.
- Remove all the skin and meat from the bones. Discard the bones.
- Either mince or finely chop the meat and skin.
- Return the now-minced meat to the stock.
- Bring the stock back up to the boil.
- Slowly drizzle in the cornmeal while you whisk the stock, to avoid lumps.
- When the cornmeal thickens you’ll get violent bubbling. Put a lid on the pot, drop the heat to low, and leave it for 20 minutes (for the cornmeal to take up all the liquid).
- Grease a bread loaf tin (or equivalent oblong container).
- When the 20 minute absorption time (step 13) is up, pour the mush into the loaf tin, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top over with a spatula/spoon.
- Allow to cool, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is better).
- When you are ready to use the scrapple, turn it out on to a plate.
- Cut some 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.
- Dust with flour.
- Fry on each side for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. This should give you a nice golden crust.
Serve for breakfast, on a sandwich, or with similar accompaniments for dinner as shown in the above picture. Great in hard economic times! Enjoy!