Scrapple was originally a dish developed by the Pennsylvania Dutch in Chester County, Pennsylvania over 200 years ago to use up all of the not-so-palatable parts of the pig after butchering – heart, liver, tongue, brains, head meat – commonly referred to as “pork offal” (most of which I have never tasted and never plan to, and which I refer to as “awful offal”). The meat is mixed with cornmeal mush – and sometimes flour - to hold it together, chilled, sliced, and fried crispy. A traditional breakfast food in Pennsylvania and surrounding Mid-Atlantic states, fried scrapple is often served between two pieces of buttered bread or smothered in maple syrup. For a true heart attack on a plate, it can even be fried in bacon grease and served alongside a couple of fried eggs.
Apparently early southerners tasted the dish, and the cooks on the large plantations started making scrapple when their hogs were butchered. Scrapple may not be one of the original “soul foods,” but at least one recipe for it is included in almost every soul food cookbook in my collection (the first soul food cookbook was “What Mrs. Fisher knows about Old Southern Cooking” and was published in 1881; no scrapple recipe is included, most likely because scrapple hadn’t yet caught on), including “Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook,” which I consider the Bible of soul food. Princess Pamela uses inexpensive cuts of pork and pigs feet in her recipe, and her recipe is quite time consuming. There are also dozens of recipes for scrapple that call for breakfast sausage which is much quicker than boiling, cooling, and pulling pork off the bones.
Shortcut Scrapple is absolutely delicious, does not contain any questionable body parts, and can be made in about 15 minutes hands-on time if there are packages of the Basic Pork Module in the freezer. Once made and chilled, it can be sliced and fried – it keeps for a month or two if frozen, or several days when refrigerated. The official Hancock tasters (including Gwen the cat who is very picky) love Shortcut Scrapple and are oblivious to what it’s supposed to contain; as far as they know, it’s authentic Pennsylvania Dutch and totally safe to eat. Feel free to substitute boiled awful offal for the shredded pork if you so desire.
2 cups chicken stock
1 3/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded pork from the Basic Pork Module, chopped
- Spray a standard loaf pan with non-stick spray.
- Bring the chicken stock to a boil.
- Mix the water, cornmeal, and salt; whisk the mixture into the boiling chicken broth.
- When the mixture boils, turn the heat down to low and stir until thick.
- Stir in the shredded pork and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly.
- Just before serving, slice into 1/2" slices, brown in bacon fat or vegetable oil, and serve with maple syrup.
Amount Per Serving (prior to frying and without syrup)
Calories 127 Calories from Fat 44
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 35% Protein 30% Carb. 36%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 28 mg
Sodium 514 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 9 g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 1%