Scrapple (Pennsylvania Dutch pon haus)
Long time readers know my penchant for making broth from scrap bones which are sold very cheaply in the supermarket. When I get lucky, these scrap bones contain a substantial amount of meat. I pick the meat from the bones and make a new dish with it. Sometimes, it’s soup; other times, it’s fried rice.
When I saw an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives that featured the scrapple, I knew I had another addition to my list of what to do with scraps of meat from scrap bones that have been boiled to make broth.
My Mac’s dictionary refines scrapple as “scraps of pork or other meat stewed with cornmeal and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying, especially characteristic of eastern Pennsylavania” where it is also known as pon haus.
It looks like a meat loaf, it is a meat loaf, actually, but there is no baking nor steaming involved. Everything is stirred in a pot until thickened then poured into a loaf pan where the mixture becomes firm and takes the shape of the pan as it cools. After chilling in the fridge overnight, the scrapple is firm enough to be sliced.
The scrapple slices are then pan fried in butter (some prefer clarified butter) until browned.
Scrapple is traditionally a breakfast dish. It goes well with rice and egg.
When I made my scrapple, the scrap meat from the bones weren’t enough for my loaf pan. I added chopped pepperoni to add color and more flavor. Plus, some chopped vegetables for even more flavor and texture.
- 1 c. of shredded or chopped scrap meat (I used the meat from pork knuckles which was rather fatty but you can substitute chicken, beef, turkey or whatever meat you have)
- 1 c. of chopped sausage (I used pepperoni but feel free to use whatever you have)
- 1/4 c. of chopped onion
- 1/4 c. of finely sliced onion leaves
- 1/4 c. of chopped carrot
- 1/4 c. of chopped celery
- about 3 c. of broth, preferably homemade
- 1/2 tsp. of paprika
- 1/4 tsp. of cumin
- 1 tsp. of dried sage
- 1 tsp. of dried thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 to 3/4 c. of yellow cornmeal (you can substitute white cornmeal or a combination of white and yellow cornmeal)
- butter for sauteing and pan frying
- Heat about 2 tbsps. of butter in a pot.
- Saute the chopped onion, carrot and celery until softened.
- Throw in the meat and sausage into the pot.
- Pour in the broth.
- Stir in the paprika, cumin, sage, thyme and onion leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to the boil.
- Add the cornmeal, about a quarter cup at a time, stirring as you pour. The mixture will thicken so allow the mush to boil for a minute or so before you add the next quarter cup of cornmeal. Just so the mixture doesn’t get too thick.
- Add more cornmeal until the mixture is lumpy.
- Adjust the seasonings.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Pour the stew into a loaf pan. If you’re not using a non-stick loaf pan, you might want to line the bottom and sides with cling film before pouring in the stew.
- Cool the scrapple. Wrap, pan and all, with cling film then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight.
- When the scrapple is cold and firm, invert and cut into one-inch slices.
- Heat butter in a frying pan. Fry the scrapple slices until browned on both sides.
- Serve with bread or rice.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6