What Is Scrapple?
As its name suggests, scrapple is made from scraps, but don't let that dissuade you — it's American paté.
By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen
Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.
The concepts of farm-to-table dining and head-to-tail use of hogs is not new. In fact, pork is prevalent in butchery and charcuterie because the entire animal can be used, including the scraps. Scrapple is a way to transform pork scraps into a tasty paté of sorts that's eaten at breakfast in certain parts of the U.S. Read on for more info.
What Is Scrapple?
Scrapple is a dish made from scraps of pork meat, usually trimming, combined with cornmeal and spices. The individual ingredients are cooked separately and then put together in a loaf pan to chill. When the loaf forms, it's sliced and served. It's helpful to draw an analogy to paté, which follows also makes the most of leftover bits.
Scrapple was created by Pennsylvania Dutch settlers using what they had access to: hogs and corn, and they made something magical. In the South, scrapple is often called livermush.
What Does Scrapple Taste Like?
Scrapple can taste like liverwurst or French country paté, depending on the mix of ingredients. Some scrapple is made without liver, and depending on how much sage is in the recipe, can taste like breakfast sausage.
What Is Scrapple Made Of?
Scrapple is made from cooked pork scraps and cornmeal. It's spiced with bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, sage, garlic and salt. The reason many people shy away from scrapple is the mystery of what's in it. In addition to ends of pork loins and rib tips, scrapple uses offal - the organ parts such as hearts, liver, tongue, tail and skin. Keep in mind that these parts go into paté as well.
The pork scraps are cooked with pork bones, yielding a very rich broth. Once the pork is cooked, all the bits of fat and tough pieces are removed, and the remaining meat is put through a meat grinder. The broth is used as the liquid to cook the cornmeal, and what you end up with is essentially polenta with cooked pork mixed in. Some recipes call for a few tablespoons of wheat or buckwheat flour.
How to Cook Scrapple
Scrapple is completely cooked when you buy it, so technically you don't have to cook it for safety or health reasons. However, most people pan fry it to warm and crisp it up. If you have a loaf, cut it into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices and pan fry them in butter, oil or lard until golden brown on both sides.
What to Serve With Scrapple
Scrapple is most often served at breakfast with any or all of the typical breakfast foods: eggs, pancakes, potatoes, toast and sometimes ketchup. Slices of scrapple can be made into sandwiches, and they could easily find a place on top of crackers as hors d’oeuvres.
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