Scrapple is a traditional German dish, and it's a favorite in many Pennsylvania Dutch communities and in areas of the south. Although you can purchase packaged scrapple for slicing and baking or frying, making your own scrapple from scratch allows you to use up excess pork meat and include the seasonings you prefer.
Scrapple recipes can vary quite a bit, but most involve three main ingredients: pork, flours and spices. The dish tastes something like breakfast sausage because it has a soft interior and crispy exterior.
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What Is Scrapple?
Scrapple originated in Pennsylvania and is one of an array of dishes that arose from the frugal attempts of residents to use more parts of the pig. It dates back to the time when many Germans immigrated to the area, and has long been a part of the local culture. In fact, the Philadelphia Inquirer referred to the state as "Scrapple Paradise" in 1890, according to Pennsylvania State University (PSU).
This dish consists of pork meat that is mixed with flour and cooked in stock until it thickens. It's then allowed to cool and set until it becomes stiff.
Scrapple is then traditionally fried in a skillet or baked in the oven until crispy.
Traditionally, scrapple meat is made of the parts of the pig left behind after the standard parts are removed to make hams and chops. Parts such as the jowls, kidneys and liver are boiled in water to extract natural gelatin and flavor. The meat is removed, minced and then returned to the broth, where it's flavored with spices like sage, thyme and marjoram.
Pennsylvanians use more than one type of flour for scrapple ingredients. It's common to combine buckwheat with wheat flour or cornmeal.
Today, manufacturers in the mid-Atlantic states make beef and turkey versions of scrapple. Recipes for nut and vegetarian versions are available as well, according to PSU.
How to Make Scrapple
The scrapple recipe below is adapted from Utah State University. You can enhance this recipe by adding any spices that you like. Try traditional scrapple ingredients like dried thyme and sage.
Things You'll Need
2 loaf pans (for baking)
1 pound country sausage
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Any other seasonings you like (optional)
5 cups water
2 cups cornmeal
condiments for serving, such as ketchup, maple syrup or molasses (optional)
- In a medium frying pan with a bit of cooking oil, fry the sausage until browned. Remove the excess grease and set it aside.
- In your saucepan, mix together the water, salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Lower the heat to medium and add in the cornmeal, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent splattering as you pour.
- Add the sausage and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly dry.
- Coat two loaf pans with oil or cooking spray. Divide the meat mixture and press it into the pans. Cover and allow to cool.
Once cool, you can bake or fry scrapple before eating it.
How to Fry Scrapple
Frying scrapple is a great way to cook it. It doesn't take long, and you can season it even further to your liking. Many people like to add a light batter to scrapple before frying it by dusting the slices in some flour mixed with salt and pepper.
To make fried scrapple, slice it into 1/4-inch slices and coat the slices with some flour, salt and pepper. Then, fry the sliced scrapple over medium heat in an oiled frying pan for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until browned to your liking.
You can serve fried scrapple with condiments like maple syrup or ketchup.
How to Bake Scrapple
Baked scrapple is another way to cook it that requires little effort. This method takes longer than frying scrapple, but you don't use a lot of extra oil during cooking, which may be ideal if you're trying to cut back on fat.
To bake scrapple, simply:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray a fine mist of nonstick cooking spray over it.
- Slice the scrapple into 1/4-inch slices and lay the slices on the baking sheet about 1/2-inch apart.
- Place the scrapple in the oven. After 20 minutes of baking, flip the slices over and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the scrapple from the oven and serve hot.
Try it as a scrapple sandwich, serve it plain or pour a little syrup or molasses over the top and serve with veggies to enjoy scrapple the traditional way.