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The following was graciously contributed by Ernest L. Rhamstine, Retired Prof. of Microbiology, a longtime subscriber to the Food Reference newsletter.
As a kid in Pennsylvania I was fed scrapple before I could hold it (it was usually a breakfast "finger food" in our house except for Mother, she always ate hers between slices of buttered bread). Making scrapple was a 'butchering day' chore that always seemed to involve the kids.
It was made in the late afternoon when the major processing of the pigs was finished and the sausage, blood pudding, etc., were made from the 'end-meats'. I suspect the adults were getting a little weary and wanted some help by that time. The kids were drafted for stirring the thick meat-cornmeal mixture. Long wooden paddles, bigger than some of the kids, were used to mix the magic elixir in huge black iron kettles hung from tripods over outdoor fire pits. The pulling and pushing on the paddles as the mass thickened was truly work but the cold November afternoons made working near the fire worth the effort. The ultimate reward came when the scrapple was thick enough for little test patties to be fried on a piece of iron atop one of the fire pits. Adults assessed the seasonings but the remnants of the patties went to the kids as a reward for their hard labor. More stirring usually followed but another round of treats was in store.
Finally, when the seasoning was perfect, the scrapple was ladled out into loaf pans and allowed to firm up on a table in one of the cold out-buildings.
Needless to say, I've worked on an easier scrapple recipe for many years. Without having to butcher a hog, scrape "head meat" and chop the liver - here's my recipe for a wonderful scrapple that can used immediately or frozen for up to a year. This recipe contains less fat and salt than the supermarket products.
More Scrapple Recipes: Scrapple; Old Fashioned Scrapple; Scrapple (1896)
· 12 C. Pork, turkey or chicken broth.
· 2½ cups yellow corn meal (+ a half cup, if needed)
· 2/3 c white bread flour
· 1 T. fresh cracked black pepper
· 1 c milk (aids in browning on the griddle)
· 1/2 lb. crisp cooked bacon with all the drippings (grind with the pork)
· 4 T Bell's Seasoning (more or less to taste)
· 1 t. thyme, dry
· 1 T salt, or to taste
· 4 lbs. ground pork, cooked with excess fat removed. ( use bargain pork cuts - boneless for ease of processing, or use grocery store ground pork. Picking your own cuts allows you to regulate the amount of fat. I often use boneless pork ribs.)
Using a wire whisk slowly add cornmeal to the cold broth with constant stirring - avoiding lumps.
Add flour. Stir thoroughly.
Add all other ingredients except the meat.
Bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
Cook at a very slow boil for about 10 min.
Add pork and bacon.
Return to a slow boil for 5 min.
Taste - adjust spices.
The scrapple should be very stiff, nearly impossible to stir, if too thin, cook a few more minutes or add more corn meal.
Remove from heat and spoon into 3 greased large loaf pans. Two 9 X 13 cake pans work just as well.
Cover with foil and allow to cool. Refrigerate overnight.
Remove from loaf pan --wrap brick-sized blocks in plastic wrap and freeze if not used within the day.
Fry 1/8" to 1/4" slices in canola oil in a black iron pan or griddle until crisp.
Dusting each slice with flour is recommended before frying but it isn't necessary.
Avoid turning too soon. The upper side should loose its sheen and appear dry before flipping.
The color should be a rich brown with a nice crunch and easily hold together as finger food.
If you like a soft interior with a crunchy outside, slice it a bit thicker.
Slicing scrapple when it's very cold or partly frozen helps in cutting thin slices.
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