Friday, September 23, 2011

Cooking: Scrapple

3  pounds processed pork parts
4  quarts broth
3  tbsp salt
4  tsp black pepper
2  tsp white pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2  tsp rubbed sage
1  tsp ground savory
2  tsp granulated onion
3  tsp marjoram
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3  cups corn meal
1  cup buckwheat flour

Making scrapple is actually more process than ingredients. The list of seasonings above, however, is the closest to the scrapple I remember in my youth. I am extremely proud of Mr. Farmer for working it out. The process usually takes us several days to complete.

The first step to making scrapple is the cooking of the first two ingredients: cooked pig parts and broth. Pork liver, tongue, etc. (basically anything you don't want to keep for the dogs - some people use snouts and such, but dogs LOVE those, so we don't) as well as bones with any meat left on them are boiled for hours and hours (sometimes we do this overnight) until fully cooked and meat is easily removed from the bones. The broth is strained off and put away to cool. The meat is sorted and separated to remove cartilage and excessive fat, then ground through a fine food mill.

When you're ready to cook, bring the broth and spices up to a near boil. Add the corn meal and the flour slowly. Once that is completely combined and smooth, add 3 pounds of the prepared meat. Simmer the scrapple low to medium low until the corn meal is soft and the flour is indistinguishable from the meat (they are about the same color, so we are talking about texture here). A slight increase in heat at the very end may be helpful. The mix is ready when a wooden or plastic spoon stands up on its own in the mixture.

Did you think I was kidding?

Once the mixture is fully cooked, pour into loaf pans and cool at least a full day (2 is better). Scrapple handles best when frozen and sliced. Fry it up - Thin and Crispy or Thick and Squishy - you decide.

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