Thursday, October 3, 2013
|Vegan Philly-Style Scrapple|
I saw a photo of some Vegan Scrapple the other day and thought that it would not meet the mark with me.
But quite frankly I can longer eat a lot of meat or meat by-products because of health reasons. Organ meat from inside the animal is supposed to be high in cholesterol.
So rather than be disappointed by yet another too expensive “Vegetarian” meat substitute that tastes like Play-Doh (figuratively speaking), I decided to make my own Vegan Philly-Style Scrapple.
And the Philly kind has always been the Pennsylvania Dutch version. The Pennsylvania “Dutch” were of course “Deutsche” (a corruption of the pronunciation over the years) who came over at William Penn’s invitation almost as soon as he got here in the early 1680s.
A lot of the present Scrapple products do not measure up in my memory to taste like they did when I was a kid. Of course we are talking decades but the real flavor I miss most is the hot pepper flavor of fresh ground black pepper which the modern machine made stuff seems to lack, perhaps lost in the shelf life marketing thing.
Scrapple in its inception was a product to use all the extra body parts of the pig that might not be used otherwise directly. The primary part of scrapple has been basically ground up pig’s liver and mixed into a basic corn meal mush or polenta molded food product. This chilled and sliced and fried on a hot iron skillet without a lot of fat to facilitate cooking. A lot of that fat in scrapple was already in the product by grinding up flesh and pig fat along with the liver. As such, a slice of scrapple on a preheated iron skillet has never needed additional fat in the frying pan when cooking at a low heat. The product should be self-lubricated in the frying pan.
I use some Canola oil in the recipe below to lubricate the molded polenta product in the frying pan and cooked on a low flame once a higher pre-heated temperature has been achieved.
I for the sake of looking for a similar texture to scrapple decided on mixing the corn meal with Irish oats. I do not use the American style oats of any kind. I wanted an original European style oats for taste and texture, far superior to any American big corp. processed oats.
I do not know how to describe the kind of Irish oats (steel cut, quick, whole, old-fashioned etc.) I use in comparison to American style recipes. So for the sake of this recipe I mention a specific product and its cooking time, and I am certain you may have your own favorite pure food oats product. The product is Flahavan’s Irish Oats and this particular box is available in American stores. They cook in three minutes.
The other product I use is Indian Head Stone Ground Corn Meal for the polenta part of the recipe.
The recipe has two pots on the stove at one time. Per careful and take your time. Start with the Corn Mean cooking as it takes about 20 minutes and the Oatmeal cooking only takes three minutes.
The two grain mixtures will be blended together when the corn meal is done. Canola oil goes into corn meal cooking with the boiling water mentioned below. Natural soy sauce goes into oatmeal just before blending with cornmeal. The soy sauce is both a seasoning element and for a natural traditional scrapple color. All dry seasoning and dry herbs go in last.
Start with assembly of seasonings and dry herbs.
1 tsp. Marjoram
1 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. ground Sage
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
Dash of ground Allspice
Set herb mixture aside.
Start cooking the corn meal
1 cup cold water
1 cup Corn Meal
Mix in pot.
Add 2 cups boiling water from tea kettle
Add 1-1/2 tbs. Canola Oil
Cook, stirring frequently, according to package instructions. Approximately 20 minutes.
Meanwhile combine 3/4 cup Irish Oats with 1-1/2 cups cold water. Cook according to package instructions. Mixture has less water than recommended but you want an oatmeal mixture thick with less water in terms of combining with cooked corn meal and molding. Approximately 3 minutes. Set aside. Cover to retain heat.
Finish corn meal cooking.
Add 2 tbs. Soy Sauce and mix into oatmeal mixture.
Combine cooked Oatmeal and Polenta mixture in pot.
Add seasonings and herbs. Mix. Pour into greased loaf pan. Let sit until completely cool. 1-2 hours.
Cover. Put in refrigerator overnight or 8-12 hours. Keep refrigerated until consumed.
Take out of frig. Unmold.
Cut into thin slices or desired thickness. Cook in preheated iron skillet or flat iron griddle on low to medium heat depending on how close you want to monitor cooking. Cooking time approximately 10 minutes on each side.
Serve with ketchup, mustard, honey, maple syrup or whatever you desire. Enjoy.