Scrappolenta ‡

Scrapple derives from Pennsylvania Dutch country, where it is also known as pon haus. It was originally made from pork scraps* combined with cornmeal or grits, flour or buckwheat, and lard. Lots of lard. It is well known throughout rural America, and now appears in most supermarkets near you.

Commercially available scrapples contain too much fat, carbohydrate, and salt for me. In remediation, the recipe below, while perhaps not being entirely faithful to either its origins or my guidelines, is nevertheless healthier and retains the delectable semblance of its namesake.

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb lean ground hog
  • 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 1 (4-oz) can chicken liver pâté
  • 2 cups yellow grits or polenta
  • ½ cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tbsp sage
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp savory
  • 1 tbsp <salt>
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp ham bouillon base
  • 7 cups water, or more

Brown the ground pork in the oil in a 4 quart, preferably non-stick pot, and turn off the heat. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Now comes the fun part. Bring up the heat and cook slowly for about 30 minutes until it is very thick, stirring frequently (constantly?), scraping the bottom of the pot with a spatula, and adding water as needed to keep it stirrable.

Line a loaf pan (or more, depending on size) with plastic wrap and spoon in the cooked mixture. Tamp down and tap the pan on the counter top to pack and remove air bubbles. Refrigerate at least 8 to 10 hours.

When ready to serve, invert the contents onto a cutting board, and slice as many servings as desired into ½-inch slabs. Fry in a little <butter> in a non-stick frying pan, turning only once, until each side is golden brown and forms a crust. Refrigerate the unused portion in plastic or foil wrap for later enjoyment.