I was born a 5th generation Philadelphian. While I broke tradition and moved to Florida, this is one of the foods I ate throughout my childhood in the beautiful city of brotherly love. Homemade scrapple consists of cooked lean pork, spices and cornmeal, and is very easy to prepare.
This homemade scrapple recipe is from my grandmother, who learned it from her mother, so you can enjoy the flavor of what your ancestors enjoyed for dinner. I categorized the recipe as early 20th century, but it could be late 1800s.
Please note that cooking with lard is necessary to enjoy the authentic flavor. Although some experts consider lard as a fattening food, bakeries still use it today in their pastries. Our grandparents' generation was not obese and they used lard in their daily cooking. You can find cans of lard in the same grocery aisle as shortening.
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. sage
- Bacon drippings
1. Put the boneless pork in a stockpot. Cover it completely with cold water. Add all the salt to the water.
2. Bring the water to a boil and then immediately reduce the heat to medium-low (on an electric stove, that's #3). Cover and simmer until tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Pierce with a fork to check doneness.
3. Remove the pork loin to a large cutting board. (Note: You may want to place a towel under the cutting board to absorb the liquid).
4. Reserve 3 cups of the stock in the pan.
5. Shred the pork and then add it to the 3 cups of stock in stockpot.
6. Bring the stock to a boil. Add the cornmeal a little at a time (about ¼ at a time) and stir until completely blended.
7. After you have blended all the cornmeal with the pork, add the pepper and sage. Stir the mixture thoroughly. (Note: If you like pepper, then increase the black pepper to one teaspoon.)
8. Grease a loaf pan with lard. Pour the scrapple into the loaf pan and refrigerate for about one hour. Be careful when handling the pan as the scrapple will be very hot.
9. After the scrapple is completely chilled, cut it into slices and pan fry using lard or bacon drippings until brown on both sides. My family always used bacon drippings for the delicious flavor it added to the meat. Serve with homemade stewed tomatoes and mashed potatoes for an old-time Philadelphia supper.