Wednesday, August 5, 2009

DIY Scrapple

Yesterday I happened to Tweet about making a Scrapple sandwich and I got the typical "eww, scrapple!" responses. Most people outside the greater Philadelphia area just don't get scrapple, and probably for good reason. The modern day Scrapple product sold in plastic wrapped bricks in every Philly area grocery store is a poor representaion of old school Pennsylvania Dutch Scrapple.

The ingredient list on a typical store bought package of Scrapple will include Pork, Pork Hearts, Pork Skin, Pork Liver, etc. I own many old Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish cookbooks, and none of them include organ meats in the Scrapple recipes. While I have never been shy about eating any of these piggy parts, and one of my favorite Vietnamese Pho varieties includes all of the major pork organ meats, they are not something I want to consume on a regular basis for obvious reasons.

So truly old style Scrapple is a much healthier product than modern day grocery store varieties. You can find a variation of the following method for making Scrapple in The Joy of Cooking. I also adapted it from my 1960 version of Amish Dutch Cookbook.

Here are the step by step instructions for making Scrapple at home...

First, Butcher a Hog. (just kidding!)

Actually, any Pork bones will do, but I buy a large Pork Shoulder(hormone & preservative free of course), and then butcher it into cutlets and cubes for curries and stir fries. This is a really cost effective way to buy pork. The nice hefty shoulder bone is now put into a large stock pot with 2 quarts of water, with a large sliced onion, a couple bay leaves, and some whole peppercorns. Let this simmer a good hour, until the meat is falling off the bone...



Remove the bone from the pot and pick off the meat. Finely chop and set aside.



Drain the liquid from the stock pot. This is what you will use to cook the Scrapple with...



Now combine 1 Cup of Corn Meal* with 1 Cup Cold Water and 1/4 Tsp of Salt...



Now put 4 Cups of the Pork Stock into a large pot, bring to a slow boil, and slowly add the cold Corn Meal mixture. Boil this mixture for 2-3 minutes. Then set the flame to very low and if you can, elevate the pot off of the heat source. I use my Wok grid, which raises the pot a couple inches off of the cooking surface. (The older cookbooks suggest a double boiler for this stage of cooking)



Now let the Corn Meal cook, or Steam, for about 30 minutes on this very low heat. Stir occassionally. After about 10 or 15 minutes, add the chopped Pork, some diced Onion, Sage, Red Pepper, and Salt & Pepper to taste. Let everything get nice and thick and happy. If you are thinking hey, this is just Polenta!, you are more or less right. It's Polenta cooked in Pork Stock!



Now pour the slurry into a bread pan. Cover with foil and put it into the Fridge. That's all there is to it!...



Once it is completely cool you will have a wonderful home made Scrapple! Slice it about 1/2 inch thick and saute in butter until golden brown...



This is absolutely delicious! Try it sometime...



(*) Note- You can substitute Oat Meal for Corn Meal and get a similar and equally traditional result. It is only Scrapple if you use Corn Meal. When made with Oat Meal it is called Goetta according to Joy of Cooking, or Ponhaws according to the Amish Dutch Cookbook.

6 comments:

MitMoi said...

I gained 210 pounds just reading this. This is not good after the weekend we just enjoyed.

Christopher Paquette said...

Scrapple is "Health Food" ...

Alison said...

i LOVE scrapple, christopher. my mother's family comes from southeastern PA and everytime we visit we always bring back those bricks, which i really do love, sliced thin and coked up for brekky with homemade applesauce.

but yr version sounds divine...i'll have to make it sometime. thanks for this post!

Christopher Paquette said...

Alison... try it with Apple Butter!

... yet another great Amish treat.

Alison said...

i'm making my own apple butter this fall with apples off our old farmhouse tree...so i will do that.

what a fantastic idea! thank you...

hey, on another note...our tomatoes all got nailed by late blight before we knew what was going on...we had to destroy all the plants...it's always something with a garden...

Christopher Paquette said...

That is really a shame about the Late Blight. If I hadn't read about it, I'm not sure I would have recognized it myself if it was in my garden...

Please keep me posted on the Apple Butter... I would love to see photos of the cooking process!