How to Make Pennsylvania Dutch Scrapple

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Start to Finish: 1 hour cooking time, chill time and 30 minutes preparation before serving

Servings: 16 to 20 slices

Difficulty: Intermediate

Pennsylvania Dutch scrapple combines scraps of pork with cornmeal, cooking liquid and seasonings. Packed into loaf pans and cooled until it thickens, the mixture can then be sliced and fried. Traditionally the meat scraps are from the boiled head and other bony parts of the carcass that are made into scrapple at the end of butchering day.

A simple, modern version of scrapple is easy to make using ground pork sausage or finely chopped pork.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork sausage or finely chopped pork
  • Butter or oil, optional
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sage, thyme or other savory herbs or spices to taste
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • Butter or light oil for frying

Directions

Step 1

Brown the sausage in a large skillet or Dutch oven, stirring often to break the meat into small crumbles. If the pork is extra lean you may need to add 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter or oil to prevent sticking. Stir in the chopped onion when the meat is almost done and continue stirring and cooking until the onion is lightly browned. Add the water and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.

Tip

  • Smaller crumbles of meat make the scrapple loaf easier to slice.

    You can also use leftover cooked pork roast or chops, trimmed and finely diced.

Step 2

Add the cornmeal slowly, stirring constantly as you pour it into the sausage mixture. Continue stirring over medium heat for about 20 minutes until the mixture thickens enough to coat a wooden spoon.

Step 3

Spray two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the scrapple mixture into the pans. Allow the pans to cool slightly, then cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them overnight or until the scrapple is completely cool. The mixture thickens and sets as it cools.

Step 4

Turn the loaves out of the pans. Slice the scrapple about 3/4 inch thick and fry the slices in butter or light oil in a single layer in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fried scrapple slices should be crispy outside and hot and tender inside.

Serving Ideas

Think of scrapple as Southern fried cornmeal mush with seasoned pork added. A typical breakfast accompaniment to eggs, fried scrapple is traditionally topped with spicy ketchup. Some people enjoy scrapple with maple syrup; others prefer zippy salsa.

Tip

  • Make scrapple as a finger food for a grab-and-go breakfast by cutting the slices into strips. Fry the strips on all sides until crispy. The resulting scrapple-sticks also work for dipping.

Storage Ideas

To store scrapple in the freezer, slice it into serving pieces. Use a light coating of nonstick cooking spray on a flat baking sheet; place the slices in a single layer on the sheet; cover them with plastic wrap; then, put the sheet in the freezer. After they're frozen, stack the slices, separating them with freezer meat papers. Store them in airtight containers or zip-close bags. To prepare frozen scrapple slices, remove only the number of slices you need, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, then fry them as usual. Frozen scrapple maintains its texture for about 3 to 4 months.

Not to Be Confused

Other pork products similar to scrapple also make use of cooked meat scraps. Souse or head cheese variations are pickled, spiced and gelled to thicken, then cooled into loaves, sliced and served cold. Scrapple is thickened by cornmeal and is always served warm.

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