Barry's Homemade Philadelphia Scrapple (Ponhaaws)
(Shared recipe submitted by Barry L Barndt.)
Makes 2 large loaf pans
Work time: 1 to 1-1/2 hours
Barry writes: "I am the grandson of a poor Pennsylvania Dutch (German) chicken farmer transplanted in upstate New York. Since 1987, I have scratched up a living by breaking a few eggs at my little restaurant in Saratoga Springs called The Kettle. I have been cooking for over 40 years professionally. As the years went on, I missed the foods of my youth. I started making my own. In doing so, I found many other displaced PA Dutchmen like me missing the tastes of home. Aucth nah, Du Bish (Listen to the poor souls). Scrapple was a breakfast staple item in my grandparents/great-grandparents home in the winter months into spring when I was a boy. Keep in mind the Pennsylvania Dutch of old wasted nothing ("Make do with what you have.") and this is about utilizing every bit of a hog (except the oink) at butchering time. When I decided to make scrapple, I wanted to replicate what I grew up with. To do this, I had to go back to the time I was a young lad. I had to try to use the products that were close to what my Great Grammy would have had available to her. After hours of Internet research, talking to my dad and a butcher in Palm, PA, this is what I came up with and sell at The Kettle. Scrapple is something you might want to plan a day at home and manage your time while doing other things around the house."
- 4-1/2 to 5 pounds pigs feet or fresh ham hocks
- 2 to 4 ounces ground and drained fresh pig liver (This is a matter of taste and is optional.)
- 6 ounces cornmeal (organic is preferable)
- 6 ounces unbleached flour or whole wheat flour
- 4 ounces buckwheat flour
- Onion peels, carrot and celery scraps (You paid for the scraps, put them to use. There is plenty of flavor in them.)
- 1-1/2 quarts pork stock
- 2 bay leaves (laurel)
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 1 tablespoon marjoram
- 1-1/2 teaspoons nutmeg or mace
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heavy 6 to 8 quart pot or Dutch oven
- 2 loaf pans (Safe food handling mandates no deeper than 4-inches for this dish)
- Roasting pan (optional, see notes below)
- Sturdy wooden spoon
- Pocket or instant-read thermometer
- Parchment paper cut to fit bottom of loaf pans (optional)
- Food processer
- 6-inch mixing bowl (for combining dry ingredients)
- Skillet for frying (preferably cast iron)
Cook the pork over low heat in salted water for 2-3 hours with the bay leaves, onion carrot and celery scraps until tender. Strain the stock and let the pork cool. Pick the meat off the bones. Put the bones and rind back in the stock. Continue to cook and reduce the stock to 1-1/2 quarts. While the stock is reducing, chop the meat in the food processer and measure out the dry ingredients and spices into a mixing bowl and set aside.
Strain the stock. Put the strained stock, chopped meat and optional liver back into the pot and place on a burner over low heat. Before the stock mixture comes back to a boil, gradually add the dry ingredients, constantly stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken into a creamy paste. Now it is time to taste the scrapple and adjust the seasoning to your taste. It will probably be floury tasting at this point. The next step will fix that.
Pour the scrapple mixture into the parchment paper-lined or greased loaf pans. Place the loaf pans into a roasting pan and place into a preheated, 375° F oven. Put about 2-inches of water into the roasting pan, being careful not to get water into the loaf pans. Bake until scrapple reaches an internal temperature of 180° F. (See notes below for alternate stovetop method of this step.) Let cool and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, run a knife around the edges of the loaf pan and turn out the scrapple from the pan. Remove the paper and slice the scrapple into 1/4-inch slices. In a cast iron or other heavy skillet, heat oil (see notes below). Dredge the scrapple in flour and fry until crispy on both sides. Serve as a breakfast meat with ketchup or table syrup. Slice the remaining scrapple, wrap it in individual portions and freeze for later use. It freezes very well.
Notes: The final step of cooking the scrapple in the oven like a terrine eliminates the possibility of scorching it as it fully thickens. It also prevents you from having a sore arm the next day from constant stirring. Additionally, the scrapple gets a nice toasty crust on top, which I think enhances the flavor. However, instead of baking, the scrapple can be finished on the stovetop, then placed into the loaf pans to cool and refrigerate. For frying the scrapple, I like to use bacon fat at home. I use canola oil in the fryer at The Kettle. I generally stay away from the hydrogenated stuff when I cook and bake. I see the hydrogenated stuff as a poor substitute for the real thing. Life is too short to fake it.