Chill

Scrapple

May 21, 2021
4.5 Stars
Photo by Coral Lee
Author Notes

Waste not, want not. Scrapple, as you may gather from its name, was created as way to use leftover pig parts, commonly referred to as offal. At its core, scrapple is a dish of pork meat mixed with spices, broth, and cornmeal that is placed in a mold and served sliced and fried. It's a delicious, crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside breakfast meat to accompany your toast and eggs.

Scrapple has roots in Germany, and arrived in Pennsylvania with a wave of German settlers during the 17th and 18th centuries. It’s been enjoyed in the region ever since, and Pennsylvania Dutch producers ship it to chefs around the country who have been incorporating this humble ingredient made of scraps into their menus. What was once largely a by-product—primarily a way to use up whole animal parts like heads, trotters, and tails—has become a delicacy. One taste of this tender, sausage-y, flavor-packed pâté fried crisp and golden will have you wondering why it took so long to catch on.

Scrapple broth—what remains after simmering the meat—can be frozen and used to make scrapple with whatever leftover pork you have on-hand. Pork butt, ribs, hocks, shanks, and bulk sausage all work well and will contribute a variety of flavors and textures. Experiment with different cuts and see what you enjoy most.

Frying scrapple is a simple pleasure, and seeing that beautiful crunchy crust on the underside when flipping a slice is true satisfaction. Make sure your scrapple isn't too thick or thin (3/4-inch slices should do the trick) and work with a hot, well-greased skillet or the scrapple may crumble or fall apart. For extra-crispy scrapple, lightly dredge both sides of each slice with flour before frying and keep a close eye on the pan to prevent burning. For a real treat, add a slice of fried scrapple to an egg and cheese sandwich or grilled cheese—its intense porkiness and crunchy exterior will make you forget all about bacon (at least temporarily).

Jaime Brockway

  • Prep time 4 hours
  • Cook time 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork butt, preferably bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork spare rib tips
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • salt and pepper, to taste
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Add the pork, peppercorns, salt, bay leaves, garlic, and onion to a large pot. Fill the pot with water until the contents are just covered, and set it over high heat.
  2. Using a spoon, remove the fat that floats to the top of the water as it comes to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until meat is tender and falls off the bone (2 to 3 hours).
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat from the pot to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
  4. Place another large bowl in the sink with a strainer on top of it. Strain the broth from the pot into the bowl, catching the remaining spices, small bones, pork pieces, and alliums in the strainer.
  5. Reserve at least 4 cups of the broth for the scrapple. You should have plenty left over to freeze for future use.
  6. Rinse out the pot and add 4 cups of the strained pork broth. Add the herbs, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the herbs are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove the herbs with a slotted spoon and set aside (but don’t discard).
  7. Slowly add the cornmeal to the broth while whisking to prevent clumps. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir often to prevent the cornmeal from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  8. While the cornmeal cooks, separate the meat from the bone using your fingers and discard any extra fat, tendons, skin, or other parts. Discard everything but the meat.
  9. Grind the meat coarsely in a food processor or meat grinder, but don’t overdo it. If you don't have either, simply chop the meat as finely as you can. Season it liberally with salt and pepper, then add to the cornmeal mixture and stir well to combine.
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pick the leaves off the reserved sage, thyme, and oregano and chop them finely, then add to the scrapple mixture.
  11. Pour the scrapple mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and let it cool. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  12. To serve, cut the scrapple into 3/4-inch slices and pan-fry in butter or oil until crisp.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jeffrey Hardtime Mays
    Jeffrey Hardtime Mays
  • Inga Martinsone
    Inga Martinsone
  • Scripplescrapple
    Scripplescrapple
  • Molly
    Molly
Jaime Brockway

Recipe by: Jaime Brockway

Polenta, mac and cheese, farmers' market breakfasts, smoky food & drink. These are a few of my favorite things. I was an editorial intern @Food52 in 2015!

9 Reviews

Scripplescrapple March 12, 2022
People don’t know scrapple reducing heart failure in grown kids taller then 4ft 13 inches and causes cankels in the upper arm region. I force fed my neighbors child and watched his cheeks enlarge like a muffin cooked with condensed milk fat. Scrapple will also give you that kick before working out I advise to consume 13 in a half slices 2 mins before working out for optimal results in your upper chest region. You should feel it there as well as tingling sensations down your left leg and feet along with blurred vision and a massive headache.
 
Jeffrey H. April 17, 2021
Very interesting history of my favorite breakfast.
I have found a short cut that I'm told works rather well. You can use your favorite ground pork sausage instead of the various cuts used here and follow up with the process as if you had started from scratch.
 
Molly April 28, 2020
Can you freeze the leftovers of this dish? Thank you.
 
Molly April 28, 2020
Oops! Just realized I can put this in the question section. Sorry.
 
Inga M. April 17, 2020
That's super interesting - we make the dish called "cold meat" and it is very similar till the part where you add the cornmeal, because we just take the boiled meat, put the small particles in some bowl (or couple of small bowls), pour over the broth, put in the fridge and that's it - ready. The broth, if cooked from pig's legs, bones and skin, makes a jelly in fridge.
Eat with some mustard or horseradish, or vinegar.
 
Peggity January 27, 2022
Inga, we call that headcheese (used to be made with the heads) but with vinegar we call it souse.
 
R_Wadman March 30, 2020
We make something similar, but our recipe include oat flour as well as corn meal. Spouse tried substituting OATMEAL for oat flour one time - weirdest results, tasty but very hard to chew/digest.
 
YerDaddyBrogan June 28, 2019
Imma make this jawn right here tomorrow. I ain't too confident inna scrizzle recipe wit no egg or gelatin ta bindem all ups. We gone see!!!
 
Arianna K. April 30, 2015
The+addition+of+bay+leaves,+thyme,+oregano,+sage---thank+you+for+this+refreshing,+aromatic+spin+on+some+hearty,+down-home+cooking!