Scrapple, also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name Pannhaas (“pan tenderloin” in English), (compare: Panhas) is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and wheat flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then pan-fried before serving. Scraps of meat left over from butchering, not used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste. Scrapple is primarily eaten in the southern Mid-Atlantic region of the United States (Delaware, Maryland, South Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.).
Scrapple and panhaas are commonly considered an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Mennonites and Amish. Scrapple is found in supermarkets throughout the region in both fresh and frozen refrigerated cases.
What Is Scrapple Made Of?
What to Serve With Scrapple
Scrapple is most often served at breakfast with any or all of the typical breakfast foods: eggs, pancakes, potatoes, toast and sometimes ketchup. Slices of scrapple can be made into sandwiches, and they could easily find a place on top of crackers as hors d’oeuvres.
- 3 pounds (1.37kg) bone-in pork butt, preferably skin on
- 2 pig trotters (about 1.1 pounds; 500g each)
- 4 medium onions (8 ounces; 227g each), roughly chopped, about 3 cups
- 6 medium cloves garlic
- 4 ounces (115g) pork liver, about 1/2 inch thick (see note)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable or canola oil, plus extra for serving
- 2 cups plain yellow cornmeal (11 ounces; 312g)
- 1/2 cup (2 3/8 ounces; 68g) buckwheat flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large Dutch oven, add pork butt, trotters, onions, and garlic. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, skimming off any scum that accumulates on the surface, until pork is very tender and falling off the bone, about 3 hours. Let stand off-heat for 10 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a cutting board and set aside until cool enough to handle. Then, separate meat and discard skin, bone, and tendons. Strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large heatproof bowl, discarding onions and garlic; you should have about 7 1/2 cups (1.77L) pork stock. Set aside.
Season liver with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron or stainless-steel skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add liver and cook, without moving, until lightly browned on first side, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook on second side until center is just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board along with reserved pork meat, and, using a sharp knife, finely dice liver and reserved pork meat together (you should have about 5 or 6 cups in total).
In a 3-quart saucepan or saucier, whisk together cornmeal and 7 cups (1.66L) pork stock. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, whisking often, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue to cook, whisking and scraping the bottom and sides often and adding additional pork stock and/or water as needed, until the liquid has been absorbed and the cornmeal is smooth and has thickened like polenta, 20 to 45 minutes (cook time will depend heavily on the type and grind size of cornmeal used). Towards the last 10 minutes of cooking, whisk in buckwheat flour quickly to prevent it from clumping.
Stir meat and liver into cornmeal mixture, then add sage, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pork-cornmeal mixture to a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper and smooth surface. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate scrapple until set, at least 3 hours. At this point, scrapple may be kept in the refrigerator for several days, or frozen (let thaw in refrigerator before serving).
To Serve: Slice scrapple into 3/4-inch-thick slabs. In a 10-inch cast iron or nonstick skillet, heat a few tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches, cook scrapple, flipping once, until brown and crispy on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
Dutch oven, 10-inch skillet, 3-quart saucepan or saucier, 9- by 5-inch loaf pan
The 4 ounces pork liver may come as a single piece or a few pieces, depending on where you shop; as long as each piece is about 1/2 inch thick, the cooking times in the recipe will be accurate.
Where to Buy Scrapple
Look for blocks of scrapple in the breakfast meats section of well-stocked grocery stores, supermarkets, butcher shops, and food co-ops. It’s typically sold in square or rectangular loaves vacuum-sealed in plastic packaging. Scrapple may also be sold frozen in the freezer aisle and can sometimes be found at farmers’ markets, especially in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.
Store scrapple in your refrigerator in its original packaging. If frozen, store in the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator (or according to package directions) the night before you’re ready to use it. After opening, store uncooked scrapple in an airtight plastic bag or container in your refrigerator.
According to the USDA,1 scrapple can often be stored in the refrigerator for up to 50 days; follow the best-by date on the packaging. Store frozen scrapple in your freezer for up to one year.
Nutrition and Benefits of Scrapple
Scrapple is rich in carbohydrates and protein as well as Vitamin A and iron. It’s also relatively high in fat, saturated fat, and sodium.2 Nutrition data for scrapple varies by producer.