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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. —Jaime Brockway
Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan
- 2 1/2 pounds pork butt, preferably bone-in, skin-on
- 1 1/2 pounds pork sparerib tips
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 4 bay leaves
- 6 garlic cloves, halved
- 1 large onion, halved
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 1 sprig fresh sage
- 1 cup cornmeal
- Salt and pepper, to serve
- In the large pot, add the pork, peppercorns, salt, bay leaves, garlic, and onion. Fill the pot with water until the contents are just covered, then bring to a boil. With a spoon, remove the fat that floats to the top of the water, if any. Once it reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer, covered, until meat is tender and falls off the bone, about 2 to 3 hours.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat from the pot to a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
- 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.
- Reserve at least 4 cups of the broth for the scrapple. You should have plenty leftover to freeze for future use!
- Rinse out the large pot and add 4 cups of the strained pork broth. Add the herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until herbs become very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove herbs with a slotted spoon and set aside (don’t toss).
- Slowly add cornmeal to the broth while stirring with a whisk 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.
- While the cornmeal cooks, attend to the pork: Separate the meat from the bone and discard any extra fat, tendons, skin, or other parts. This should be easy using just your fingers and a fork or butter knife. Toss everything but the meat.
- Grind the meat in a food processor or meat grinder, but don’t overdo it. If you have neither, don’t worry! Just dice the meat as finely as you can. Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper, then add it to the cornmeal-broth mixture and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pick the leaves off of the reserved sage, thyme, and oregano and grind them finely, then add them to the scrapple mixture.
- Pour the scrapple mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and let it cool. Cover and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours.
- To serve, cut the scrapple into 3/4-inch slices and pan-fry it.