I remember my first time trying scrapple, a traditional dish from Pennsylvania. We were having brunch at Ina’s in Chicago and a friend ordered scrapple thinking that it was a new name for a scrambled egg dish. Disappointment was inevitable when out came these fried patties of pork and cornmeal. However, the disappointment stemmed from the lack of toast not the last of taste. My second and most recent taste was at the Publican where it was delicious and crispy.
Now there is certainly bad, and bland, scrapple to be had, but if you are combining cornmeal and pork, if you do it right, it is going to be good. The problem is that there is a recipe for every person who has made scrapple and you can not tell good from bad.
With no firm recipe in hand, I was left to my own devices. Braising pork and bacon from my meat CSA and folding it with some amazing Three Sisters coarse ground corn meal would be done by eye. In the end, the balance was likely tipped in favor of the cornmeal.
With this cornmeal, though, that is not a bad thing. Once cooked into grits, folded together with the pork, cooled in loaf form, sliced, and browned in butter, these crispy little cakes are absolutely delicious. Topped with an over easy egg (and its yolk) and Coop Hot Sauce, it was awesome.
- 20 ounces pork shoulder
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup pork stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 fresno chile
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups coarse ground corn meal
- 4 cups milk, cream, stock or water
- 8 sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon butter
Step one: Brown bacon and pork. Add stock, water, wine, chili, garlic to the bacon and pork shoulder and braise for 3 hours. Remove meat and shred. Add chopped sage.
Step two: Make grits by bringing stock/milk/water to a boil and add cornmeal gradually. Stip frequently until fully cooked (about 45 minutes) Add butter.
Step three: Combine grits and pork. Stir to mix completely. Pour into loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Chill overnight. Slice and cook in butter or bacon fat.