Saturday, March 10, 2012

Scrapple me to death

It’s done. I’m feeling proud and superior. From one pig’s head and a few neck bones, I pulled six cups of meat which I then minced. I strained the broth to remove large pieces of congealed, um, offal? It was repulsive. It included a couple of tusk-like teeth that fell out of the jaw – the rest I hammered out. (I have ideas for the teeth. Like drilling holes in them, stringing them on leather and sending them to a friend who has a javelina phobia. Donald, this will help you if you wear them next to your skin, especially when you teach “domains of learning.” It’s called desensitization therapy.) 
I set the broth on the porch to cool overnight. This morning the fat was congealed enough to peel a layer off the surface. The broth is so full of collagen from the bones it sits up like industrial strength Jell-O.  It measured a little more than seven cups and since the recipe is roughly equal parts meat to oatmeal – I cooked up seven cups of thick-cut organic oatmeal. When it was well-done, I added the minced meat, salt and quite a bit of pepper and put it in the refrigerator. My mom insists it needs a lot of pepper. I waited barely long enough for it to set and then cut it into half inch slices, browned it in a hot cast iron skillet. I squished the slices down a little – I think that when I freeze it, it will slice easier and not be so mushy in the pan. When it was all crisped up, it went on a plate to be served with maple syrup. 
An inexpensive, nutritious dish with a balance of protein, carbs, fiber, fat, B vitamins and minerals. Hey?

It was better than I remembered. Denis and Anita were eager to try it, but I could see the tentative first bite of will I have to make a run to the trash can with my hand over my mouth? or, or, or,  and then their eyes lit up. They groaned, and ate every little scrap. ha. Denis suggested I see about getting eight or ten of these, because surely there is no competition for making use of a pig’s head. I was a little horrified. No. I’m sorry. No. I’ll teach him if he wants do that many.

One pig’s head, washed (Chicken backs and necks may be substituted for pork)
         Place head in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for two hours or until meat is tender and skin slips off the bones. Cool. Remove head from pot reserving the cooking liquid.
         Separate meat from skin, cartilage, and bones. Discard brains and tongue. Dice meat into small pieces and save in a large mixing bowl. Be sure to include some of the fat. Measure amount of scraps and make an equal amount of oatmeal using the left over liquid. Bring it to a boil in a large pan and for each cup of liquid add 1/3 cup of oatmeal. Simmer until oatmeal has thickened. Add meat scraps and fat to the oatmeal. Mix well and season with salt and lots of pepper. Spoon mixture into bread pans and refrigerate until set. Unmold from pan, cut into ½ inch slices and brown in frying pan until crisp.
         Serve for breakfast with maple syrup. May be frozen until needed.


Linda Ehlinger said...

Just by the use of wonderful words like "congealed", "squish", etc., I do believe I would rather have the plague.

wheresurtreasure said...

Dear cast iron frying pan friend,

I know I live in Amish country---and have eaten this as a child--and loved it...yes the real thing...But...

I make mine out of cornmeal (polenta) with turkey burger that has been made into loose sausage by seasoning with sage, salt and pepper. (Sometimes,I even stuff into natural casings for real links---and you know what that is!)But real scrapple-don't think I could touch it anymore... Because I am a wuss...

My inner Laura Ingalls Wilder and small smack of Flannery O'Connor Salaams to i over salivate---and go try to forget this!LOL! No, I am seriously well a slightly nauseated...

Travels said...

Yeah! Congratulations. I always wanted to do this so I have been following the tale avidly though mine would have ended as a kind of paté. But now I am curious about scrapple. My sister bought me a book of cahcuterie several years ago (OK many years ago)and though I have read it from cover to cover about 3 times, I have only made the patés. If you lived around the corner I would loan it to you for your entertainment - with strict rules for gentle treatment.

Margie Haack said...

Linda, I know - eating anything gelatinous, uck. But. Even after it cools and is set there;s none of that texture - and when fried it's all crispy and brown. mmmm.
Travels, and if you lived around the corner, I'd share it with you. And we could make pate together.

Margie Haack said...

Dear wheresurtreasure,
I thought of the Amish while doing this - and of Laura Ingalls, I remember how their favorite part of the pig was roasting the tail on a stick in the fire. I should believe it now.

Cara said...

You could TOTALLY be a missionary.

Hannah said...

I was going to thank you for not including pictures of the head, and then I read the next post :)

It did make me chuckle when I read, "when the apocalypse comes you'll thank me." And I'm sure I would think it was delicious and nutritious if I was at your table!