Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cooking: Making Scrapple- The Dirty Work

Waste Not - Want Not.

In case you didn't know, Scrapple is a kind of sausage that includes "everything but the squeal". This combination of flour, corn meal, broth, seasonings, and offal (organ meat and other parts generally discarded) is somewhat of a local delicacy, but it's one I grew up with and have been missing over the past few years. The bad news is that it takes quite a bit of good, old-fashioned, hard work to make.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of being a part of that process. Many pig parts had been boiling in a large stock pot on the stove for nearly a whole day. Once they were cool enough to touch, they had to be separated. I pulled on a pair of black rubber gloves and just dug into the pot with my hands. I used a big stainless steel bowl to hold the bones. I separated the meat into a scrapple pan, and the fat, skin, cartilage, and small bones into another. It was slimy, drippy, messy, dirty work- and I had not had my morning tea yet.

My Low-Tech Meat-Separating Station

When I was finished, I bagged up the clean meat and the fat/grizzle.  The bones went into a warm oven to roast before the final smoking for the dogs (ours and our neighbors'). Maybe, if I'm lucky, I won't have to do that again. Ick. 

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