When I lived in Pennsylvania for a year, I fell in love with scrapple. I sometimes wonder why it has not spread beyond Pennsylvania, but really, I know. Traditionally it’s made by boiling a pig’s head, picking off the meat and reboiling it with cornmeal and other cereal grains to form a loaf which then gets sliced and fried. In the first place that makes a lot of scrapple so most people buy it ready made. No; scratch that. Even there most people don’t eat it at all, because in the second place they know it’s made with the scraps from a pig’s head. But c’mon people, that’s just sausage. Let’s not even talk about what goes into hot dogs for instance.
I came across this much more domesticated and accessible version in an old cook book. It’s not as gelatinous as the original but I suspect most people won’t find that a fault. Mr. Ferdzy had no problem chowing down on this along with some poached eggs and a little Beet & Red Cabbage Relish. If you eat pork, you will like it too.
4 to 6 servings
20 minutes prep time; overnight set time; 20 minutes fry time
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 or 2 shallots
250 grams (1/2 pound) pork breakfast sausage
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon powdered gelatine
2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
bacon fat or other oil to fry
Mix the salt, pepper, coriander, and sage and set aside. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Peel the casings off the sausages, and discard it; crumble the meat.
Heat a medium-large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage meat and the shallots, and cook until no pink remains and the meat is lightly browned in spots. Break up any large lumps.
If there is a lot of fat, drain some off. Season with the mixed spices. Add the cornmeal and mix it in well. Pour in about a cup of the chicken stock and mix well. Reduce the heat to medium, so that it is simmering but not too hard. Stir frequently.
Pour about half a cup of the chicken stock into a small bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Add the remaining stock to the pan of sausage and cornmeal, and mix it in well. Simmer for about 12 to 14 minutes (total) until the cornmeal is cooked and the mixture is quite thick. Stir in the last of the chicken stock with the gelatine and mix well. Let it simmer for another minute or two, then scrape it all out into a loaf pan. Press the surface level and let it cool.
Cover the scrapple and chill until completely set; at least several hours, and the best and easiest is overnight. Turn it out onto a cutting board (you will need to run a knife around the edge) and cut it into 12 even slices.
Heat a tablespoon of bacon fat or oil over medium heat in a large skillet and fry the slices of scrapple until nicely browned on each side; about 3 minutes per side. Add a little more fat if needed when you turn them. You will need to do them in 2 batches, but it will keep in the fridge if well wrapped for several days so no need to fry it all up at once if you don’t want to.
Last year at this time I made Duck & Wild Rice Salad.