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Scrapple: The Last Frontier

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OK, I am truly becoming my dad. I have gone over to the dark side and made my own scrapple. But, it isn’t my fault. It is Mark Bittman’s fault. Darn that “How to Cook Everything” App on my iPad.

You see, I needed to make breakfast for the last week of the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge. I had one pound left of Woodcamp Farms sausage in the freezer.

I was actually looking to make sausage patties with some interesting seasonings, and maybe do pancakes with the rest of the local buckwheat. But, opening the app and typing in sausage, it came up with lots of boring recipes, and SCRAPPLE!

OK, not everyone loves scrapple, but being almost 100% German background, and growing up with the scent of scrapple a normal Sunday morning wake up call, as my dad fried it up crispy and served it smothered in ketchup, how could I resist making my own.

We used to buy our scrapple at Lexington Market. My dad worked downtown as a policeman, so Saturday he brought home scrapple. Made from whatever was left of the pork. Still, nothing in the grocery stores approaches that scrapple.

I was hooked. I needed to try this. I even made it local. And, you could make it even more local than I did. I had cornmeal on hand. Not from up the road, but from PA. You can get cornmeal from Union Mills in Carroll County. But this is all I had.

This is the cornmeal I used in this killer polenta a few weeks ago. The Bittman recipe calls for grits or cornmeal. We don’t have local grits, so cornmeal it was. It also calls for making a double recipe of the grits. Don’t do it. Too much cornmeal and not enough sausage. Next time I make this I will use about 2/3 to 3/4 of the amount called for in the grits recipe.

You can see when I cut it this morning to fry, there is way too much filler for the pound of sausage. If you are trying to eat less meat, it works but it is off a little on proportions. You can also see the little bits of fresh sage from my herb garden.

Cook it all up with a couple of local eggs, and serve. The recipe is after the pictures below.

It looks pretty good, and it was tasty. My husband thinks it needs a little more kick, but this was an eat local challenge and Tabasco isn’t local. It also fell apart as I was plating it.

Local Sources: Trickling Springs for the butter to fry it. Zahradka Farms CSA eggs. Woodcamp Farm pork sausage. Burnt Cabins Roasted Cornmeal. Sage from my garden.

To make it even more local and mostly from Howard County, use: Bowling Green Farms butter, Breezy Willow eggs, TLV Tree Farm sausage, and Union Mills cornmeal, available at Breezy Willow. This way it would be almost 100% Howard County sourced, with the exception the cornmeal from Carroll County.

The recipe, courtesy of How to Cook Everything –

Make the cornmeal polenta, or use grits. The recipe calls for 5 cups or water, boiling. Whisk in two cups of grits or polenta. I believe you should make this with 3/4 of what they call for. Cook, covered, and occasionally stirring, until smooth. Add water if necessary to keep it from thickening too much. You will know if it is too thick. You can’t stir it. Add salt and pepper and butter to taste while making. Be careful tasting. It is molten.

In the meantime, cook the sausage until done. You need at least two cups of cooked sausage. One pound will just get you there. I would go heavier on the sausage the next time I do this.

Mix the sausage into the polenta and add at least a tablespoon of fresh sage. I used close to two tablespoons, because there was so much polenta made. Maybe grits would cook down more but the polenta was really thick and there was quite a bit of it.

Pour into a buttered loaf pan and refrigerate overnight. Cut in slices and fry in whatever you want. I used butter to keep it local. Serve with eggs, any way. I like sunny side up when I have fresh eggs from the CSA.

My husband had a piece of Atwater’s bread, toasted, with his. I didn’t think it needed the toast, as the scrapple is hearty.

So, Dark Days are done. I made it all the way to the end. Now, it will be easier to cook with local foods as we get into growing season.

Try making scrapple this summer. Everything is right up the road, at our markets in Howard County.


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

11 responses »

  1. Well, I could eat scrapple like that, when I knew what was in it. It’s the “unknown” versions of scrapple, already mixed up, that I am not ready to try.

    My dad, from western PA, used to love fried cornmeal mush. He’d eat that with butter and syrup.

    • This probably qualifies as cornmeal mush, to some extent as there was a lot of cornmeal in it compared to sausage.

      It was fairly simple to make. I will cut some for Sunday, freeze some, and take some to my brother next week at Easter while we are down there. It made a large loaf pan of it.

      I would like to experiment with it this summer, as I like eggs and something as dinner occasionally. This is a decent choice for the something.

  2. Oh scrapple. How I love thee. It’s one of those guilty pleasures that I haven’t really had in years and years. You’ve totally inspired me to make my own though!

    • I found many more recipes out there that use other pig parts. This one, with sausage, is the most mainstream. I found also that the ratio is the same, so it is supposed to be mostly cornmeal mush. Some recipes do cook it for a much longer time than I did.

      I definitely am going to try it again, using a half portion. This made way too much for us.

      Being Of German descent, this was a trip down memory lane.

  3. Sausage is the one reason that I have not been able to call myself a vegetarian. I have never had scrapple but a mix of sausage, fresh sage and polenta would be a lovely meal.

  4. Well, I don’t think I have ever had scrapple. There is German on my dad’s side of the family and braunschweiger sandwiches were a common weekend lunch or evening snack for him. I get a craving for those every now and then (bread, mustard, mayo, lettuce, braunschweiger). Scrapple seems like something my Gramps would have had. Although he was 100% Norwegian, I just don’t remember it. I will have to ask my mom. I do remember head cheese from gramps.

    Great post. love your breakfast.

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  6. I’ve never had scrapple (despite also being German), but it’s going on my list now. What a great idea!!

    Ah, braunschweiger. I thought I was the only one who grew up with that! There’s a family legend about my grandfather getting caught outside in a thunderstorm and “surving” by eating a braunschweiger sandwich under a tree. Thanks for the reminder, Sincerely, Emily!

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