Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scrapple At Home

I grew up eating a version of scrapple that my family made that was basically pork butt cooked in water, then shredded and added back to the water along with cornmeal. 

Per the Global Gourmet, “it originated with the Pennsylvania Dutch and I assume it was just a good way to use up the hog scraps. “It's dictionary defined as "cornmeal mush made with the meat and broth of pork, seasoned with onions, spices and herbs and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying."  After the ham, bacon, chops and other cuts of meat are taken from the butchered pig—what remains are fixings for scrapple—including the meat scraped off the head. Scrapple may contain pork skin, pork heart, pork liver, pork tongue—even pork brains. Those faint of palate needn't venture any further.” 

The few times I’ve ordered it in a Mid-Eastern USA restaurant, it obviously had the liver in it so it was truer to the original than our family version was – which I greatly preferred.

I was watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives recently and one of the recipes that got posted was a scrapple version closer to ours but with many more ingredients and it sounded too good to pass up and I just happened to have an extra pork butt from BBQ day.  I also remembered I had a recipe from Cowgirl Jeanie over at Cowgirls Country Life so I compared the two and, while they were similar, I decided to go mostly with hers.  The DDD one provided courtesy Bette Kroening, owner of Bette's Oceanview Diner, Berkeley, CA. (a big surprise for me) can be found by clicking on this link.

I used a slightly amended version of Jeanie’s recipe for the flavors, but I used the DDD one for the cornmeal to water ratio which has twice the cornmeal and I cut the meat into chunks and put the bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorns in a cheese cloth pouch.  Pop over to Jeanie’s site for her recipe and step-by-step pictures.  This is what I ended up with.

1¼ lb. smoked ham hocks from Benton’s Country Ham’s
5 lb. pork shoulder (bone in), split into pieces and trimmed of excess fat - wight is post trim
6 quarts of water
1 bay leaf
2 t. of whole black peppercorns
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, thickly sliced and separated into rings
3 stalks celery, rough chop
1 T. salt 
1 t. of thyme
1 t. summer savory
1 t. cayenne
2 t. black pepper
1 t. ground sage
6 cups cornmeal *
Additional salt as needed after tasting broth and after meal addition

Add the first nine ingredients to a pot (I used a 16 qt pot) and simmer uncovered until the pork is falling off the bone tender, 3-4 hours.

Drain and reserve the stock. Pour the solid contents onto a sheet pan so that you can easily pick out the meat and discard the celery, onions, garlic, cheesecloth pouch, bones, and any fat chunks.

Add the meat to a food processor with blade attachment and pulse to coarsely chop. Don't over grind it.

Add 4 quarts of the broth back to the pan along with the meat and next five ingredients (taste for salt) and bring to a simmer.

Slowly wisk the cornmeal into the simmering liquid being careful to fully incorporate before the next addition to prevent lumps – I still got some.
Stirring nearly constantly, cook for 20-30 minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick (when done, it will resemble Yellowstone’s mud pots with little volcanos of steam burping out).

Pour in loaf pan sprayed with Pam, let cool some then stick in the fridge overnight –uncovered so it can dry out some.

I had some extra broth and of course froze it as very good pork stock.

Next morning, unmold, slice to your desired thickness  and fry in your favorite fat (a little bacon grease always works well here).  If it’s too wet and won’t stay together in the pan, just flour the slices before cooking. Since it already contains the protein and starch (chef lingo for meat and bread), all it needs is a couple of eggs your way.

Mine was a little too wet but still fried fine without flouring and I believe it may be the best tasting I’ve ever had and certainly the best I’ve made.  Thanks Jeanie for a delicious recipe.

Remember the chili powder giveaway.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago: Home From New England

Two years ago:  None


5/8/12 meal date


  1. We love scrapple. I'm so glad you've made a homemade version Larry. We made it once a very long time ago (so long that Meakin doesn't remember) and we didn't have the same good luck as you did. The flavors in ours were off. Can't wait to try yours.

  2. Wow, I have never heard of this!!

  3. Never had it. Your version sounds really good, but reading the original description I was thinking to myself "I'll stick to hot dogs".

  4. I don't even know if I've ever heard of scrapple, let alone tasted it. And I'm with Lea Ann.. the original description does not make it sound very tasty! lol Good thing your pictures do better justice! :)

  5. I saw that episode of DDD and thought 'now that's a scrapple I could actually eat!'. It looks good Larry :)

  6. It sounds really interesting and tasty if it doesn't contain all the organs & head meat. Fried up with eggs makes this a killer breakfast.

  7. I have to admit I've never heard of this! After doing a quick Google search I see it has strong sties to the eastern, colonial states.

    I love anything pork - what a delicious breakfast.

  8. I've heard of Scrapple --but have never had any... Bet it's good... Think I read that it's a Pennsylvania food--or is known somewhere in that area.

    Looks delicious.

  9. I enjoy Scrapple a lot, especially when I get a triple word score! Oh wait....SCRAPPLE not Scrabble? ha ha

    I guess a homemade version is going to be much better since no mystery items will show up in it:)


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