How to Make Pennsylvania Dutch Scrapple

Written by charles clay
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How to Make Pennsylvania Dutch Scrapple
Country breakfasts were traditionally a very hearty meal. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania Dutch scrapple is a traditional breakfast food among German communities in rural Pennsylvania. Originally, it was a method of using "scraps" of semi-usable pig meat left over from the butchering process. Any bits of meat that were not part of a full cut were mixed with corn meal and seasoning, reduced to a sort of pudding, and cooled into loaves. The loaf could then be sliced like bread and the slices fried in butter or lard, forming a sausage-like accompaniment to eggs and other breakfast staples.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Deep skillet
  • 2 tbsp butter or lard
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 pound chopped or ground pork
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 1/4 qts. water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Spices (optional)
  • Loaf pan

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  1. 1

    Brown the onion over medium heat in butter or lard. Add the water, ground pork, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  2. 2

    Add the cornmeal. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is smooth and thickly coats a spoon, 15 to 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Pour the mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan and let cool. Cover with cling film and place in refrigerator until fully chilled.

  4. 4

    Turn the loaf out onto a cutting board or serving platter when you are ready to serve. Cut into thick slices and fry in butter or lard over medium heat until golden brown. The final slice should be heated through, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Serve with eggs, gravy, or ketchup.

Tips and warnings

  • This is a very basic recipe that makes one loaf. The recipe can easily be scaled up to make more than one loaf at a time, and there is a great deal of room for experimentation with spices, meat content, and vegetable additives. Some popular scrapple spices are cayenne and sage.
  • Organ meat, especially liver or tongue, is sometimes added to modern recipes to create a more traditional texture.

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