What is Scrapple and how do I cook it?
For those of you who buy a whole or half a pig, it is standard fare to get a bunch of scrapple along with the rest of the cuts, especially in the Pennsylvania and surrounding regions. Scrapple at it’s most basic is a mix of trim meat and cornmeal along with seasoning and cooking, formed in a loaf and packaged for sale.
The quality of scrapple is widely variable, but I have consistently found farm fresh scrapple to beat out commercial scrapple.
What to expect
When you open your scrapple, you will find something that should look like meatloaf, with a layer of fat. This is normal, expected and an advantage to the cooking process. It should not be mealy, soft and crumbly, rather there should be some texture and firmness to it. I suggest keeping it refrigerated until right before use as it cuts better cold.
How to cook it
There are different schools of thought on cooking scrapple and you will have to experiment to find your favorite, but my families preferred method is thin slices, fried crispy.
To ensure you don’t end up with a mess of scrapple mush in your fry pan, I recommend keeping it cold until time to cook (refrigerated), oiling the pan (bacon fat anyone?), and cooking on medium heat for a bit longer than you might think and only flipping it once the meat has fully crisped on the bottom side.
There is a large following of the 1/2 inch slice method that has a crispy exterior and mushy interior for a texture and flavor contrast – I am not one of those people! The aforementioned fat layer on the scrapple can be used in the fry pan to enhance the flavor, but really is optional if you want to reduce the oils / fats.
For a real scrapple bacony delicious treat, try frying a few slices of smoked thick cut bacon, and then frying your scrapple with a little of that bacon fat. – Ok… Now I am craving scrapple so much I think it may be dinner tonight.
What are people saying – is this guy for real?
Scrapple was largely a Pennsylvania dutch dish for quite some time, and frankly looked down on by many who did not know the origin or background behind it. With the growing movement for more responsible eating and full use of animals harvested, it is growing in popularity. Check out this article from Huff post for a perspective on this tasty meal.