Scrapple

scrappleSort of a cross between mush and sausage scrapple has been called many things, including “everything but the squeal.” In other words it gets a bad rap. If you look at the ingredients list below you will find, first and foremost, it is nitrite free, sugar free, and gluten free.

It is true when it comes to pig parts scrapple could be anything but the squeal but then that is up to the person making the dish. As with most charcuterie you are dealing with head to tail anyway so it is not a big jump to figure it is going to use pork liver. You don’t have to use pork liver but without it I am not sure you get the real gist of what is going on with the flavor and texture of scrapple. Generally after the liver the parts used are usually very flavorful cuts that need picked after being cooked and therefore wouldn’t normally be used except maybe in stews. Things like the cheeks or the snout. Pork ribs were used here because they are the most readily available to the general public.

Spicy, crispy, creamy and chock full of whole grain goodness. Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed.

Makes one 8 x 4 x 3 loaf

1 lb. meaty pork short ribs

6 oz. pork liver, if you can’t find it add more pork ribs

1 small carrot, peeled and sliced

2 green onions

1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped

4 cups water

2 teaspoons dried sage, toasted

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup buckwheat flour

a healthy pinch ground clove

kosher salt

1. Place the ribs, liver, carrot, green onions, and onion into a sauce pan where they will fit snuggly. Cover with the water and add pinch of salt.

2. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Skim any foam that rises to the surface.

3. Simmer, covered, until the ribs are fall apart tender. Probably 2 hours, maybe 3.

4. Remove the meat to a tray. Strain the stock and measure it out. Wash the sauce pan. You will need 1 1/4 cup of liquid. If you have more than 1 1/4 cup put the broth back into the sauce pan reduce the liquid over high heat. If you have less add water to make 1 1/4 cup.

5. Pick the meat from the rib bones. Place half the rib meat and the liver into a food processor and grind it till it is finely chopped. Chop the rest of the rib meat with a knife so it is coarse but not big chunks.

6. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, the broth and the spices to the sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and while whisking add the cornmeal and buckwheat flour. Whisk until smooth.

7. The scrapple will thicken a lot at this point. Add the meat and mix it in while still cooking the scrapple. If it is really stiff you may want to add a tablespoon of water but don’t make it to thin.

8. Dump the mixture into a greased 8 x 4 x 3 loaf pan and smooth down the top with a rubber spatula. Push on it firmly with the spatula to get rid of air bubbles.

9. Place a piece of plastic wrap right on top of the scrapple and then wrap the pan. Place the scrapple in the fridge overnight.

10. When you are ready to fry it cut slices and either dredge it in cornmeal or flour. Shake off the excess and saute it in butter over medium to medium high heat until the exterior is crispy and brown on both side and the interior is hot. Serve

Note: excess scrapple can be frozen but when you go to fry it it won’t stay together in a nice block. It will not taste any different the shape is the only thing different.

4 thoughts on “Scrapple

  1. ruthie

    Why the buckwheat flour? It totally throws off the texture. And you’ve got enough meat in there for a whole bag of cornmeal.

    Scrapple is an inexpensive food, filling, with little bits of scraps in it for flavor and to make your stomach feel more like it’s had a meal. Sorry, but this recipe is for a meat pudding, with just enough starch to keep it together.
    Not scrapple.

    I’m usually not so negative when I comment, but scrapple is a favorite of mine, and this is so way off. You usually have scrapple on the side with bacon or sausage and eggs. It’s more like robust grits. 😉

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    1. Tom Hirschfeld

      You have some passion for your scrapple. I love it. Ruthie, where are you from? I ask because scrapple is pretty regional. I am going to guess Philly-Jersey area by your definition of scrapple. This recipe was based on a 1800’s recipe from the Pennsylvania Dutch which probably makes it wildly different. My grandmother’s scrapple was more Amish and used pin oats and either pork or beef. I have also heard her scrapple called grits too but it is nothing like Southern grits. But this is the beauty of regional food, getting to explore all the wonderful variations on a theme, that food is as diverse as those who make it.

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      1. ruthie

        I lived in Baltimore for years and was first introduced to scrapple at a dive of a diner in D. C., of all places, after a a very long night shift. After that, I was all over it. 😉 Even after I moved back to California I had friends who lived in York, PA sending me care packages from the Amish/Mennonite farmers markets in their area.

        In Virginia, they have something called “liver mush” which is very similar but more/all liver. South Carolina also has something similar, but I don’t remember what it’s called. I heard about that from a friend who grew up there. So there’s lots of similar things, with all those hogs being cooked whole providing lots of bits and pieces. Not only thrifty, but gives a little obeisance to the animal that died for your dinner.

        I suppose the buckwheat flour makes it much heartier and probably helps it stick together better. I’m not too good with any possibility of uncooked flour, so I think I’ll still limit myself to a coating on the outside.

        BTW, being a California girl, you know I have to eat my scrapple with hot sauce. 😉 And a sprinkling of sea salt. LOL! Guess I can’t really fault anyone else on their take on the stuff.

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  2. justanotherfringedweller

    In the 1950’s, when my Pennsylvania Dutch granpa came to visit, he would bring a few pounds of Scrapple. I’m chagrined to think how much catsup we poured over those beautiful, crispy rectangles. It was such a wonderful breakfast to tide us over hours of tobogganing. Funny – as the name suggests it was made from scraps, to us it was an eagerly anticipated gourmet delicacy.

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