Scrapple, also known as Pannhaas (the Pennsylvania Dutch name), is an American pork dish prepared using scraps of pork meat, generally trimmings, mixed with cornmeal, buckwheat flour and spices (such as bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, sage, garlic, and salt).
The mush is then shaped into a semi-solid, congealed loaf, sliced and pan-fried before being served.
Often eaten during breakfast time, scrapple can be served with eggs, pancakes, potatoes, toast and occasionally ketchup. Scrapple is famous as a traditional American dish of the southern Mid-Atlantic states (like Delaware, Maryland, South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) and is also believed to be a traditional food of the Pennsylvania Dutch.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The name “scrapple” basically derives from the word “scrap”, which refers to the configuration of the dish. It is believed that the history of scrapples dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, when initial recipes of this dish were invented by German colonists who had settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Scrapple is frequently known as “livermush” in the South. Every year, this exotic dish is celebrated in Bridgeville, Delaware, during the annual “Apple Scrapple Festival”, which is held on the second weekend of October.
For the pig’s head
- Pig's head (can or cannot include jowls) - 1
- Large onion, chopped - 1
- Chopped Carrots - 3
- Black peppercorns, cracked - 1 tbsp
- Bay leaves - 3-6
- Juniper berries, crushed- 1 tbsp (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1 tbsp
- Dried thyme - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1 tbsp
- Ground white pepper - 1 tsp
- Savory - 1 tsp
- Bell's poultry seasoning - 2 tsp (optional)
- Cayenne - 1/2 tsp
- Cornmeal - 2 heaped cups
- Buckwheat flour - 1/2 cup
- Begin by taking a large kettle and placing the pig’s head in it. Add enough water to cover the meat. Boil the water and remove all the scum that hovers over the surface.
- Once done, add the carrots, onion, bay leaves, juniper and black peppercorns. Turn the flame low and make sure to add water if its level drops below the meat. Keep in mind to let it cook until the meat tends to separate from the bone. This should take about 3 hours.
- When it’s done, cautiously get rid of the pig's head and take out all the meat and extra bits. Also, remember to remove the eyes and palate. Finely chop everything.
- Take a large bowl, add all the spices into it, and mix well. Mix in the chopped meat thoroughly.
- The next step is to drain the pig broth and transfer around 10 cups of it into a large pot. Bring the broth to a simmer and throw in the cornmeal and buckwheat flour. Add salt according to your preference and let it cook for around 30 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring constantly, as this will avoid the formation of lumps.
- Now, throw the chopped pig meat into the mush and mix well to combine. Allow it all to cook for about 10 minutes.
- Now, it’s time to transfer it into loaf pan or terrine pan. Remember to line the pan with plastic wrap first, as it will help you take out the scrapple easily.
- Allow it to cool at room temperature and leave it uncovered. Then, later, cover the mush with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator overnight before you go ahead with slicing and frying it. We recommend to serve with fried potatoes, a fried egg and some toast.