- 2 lbs venison ideally 50% cuts with lots of connective tissue like shanks, ribs, and head, and 50% organ meat like liver, kidney and heart
- 2 quarts stock can just use the water you cook the venison in
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon ground sage
- 1 tablespoon ground spicebush seed or black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- In a large stock pot or pressure cooker caramelize the chopped onion in melted butter.
- Add your venison cuts and cover them with water or stock (about 2 quarts).
- Cook until the venison is falling off the bone. (In a stockpot this will take at least 3 hours. In a pressure cooker it will take about 40-50 minutes.)
- Remove the venison from the pot and let it cool before picking every scrap of meat and cartilage from the bones and collecting them in a separate bowl. Strain out the stock and set it aside.
- Feed the cooked venison scraps through a meat grinder or chop finely with a chef’s knife (this will not look appetizing AT ALL, but have faith)
- Add the ground venison paste to a large pot on the stovetop along with the stock and bring to a boil.
- After it reaches a boil, pour in the cornmeal and spices. Stir constantly while adding the cornmeal to avoid clumping.
- Cook this mixture until it becomes thick and bubbly. (One way to tell if it’s cooked down far enough is that you will start to get hit with blobs of scrapple magma that fly out of the pot as it bubbles. It will also pull away from the side of the pot as you stir)
- Once it has thickened up nicely, pour the mash into aluminum loaf pans and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- After the scrapple has set up overnight, it will form a solid block which you can cut slabs off of to fry in butter or oil. Enjoy!
- For long-term storage you can cover the loaf pans in aluminum foil and freeze them.
Although scrapple is not likely to be featured in gourmet food magazines anytime soon, the people who eat it consider it a delicacy. My mom told me a story about when my uncle was a kid and their grandparents took him to dinner at a restaurant for a special occasion. They told him he could order anything on the menu so when the server came to the table he asked for the most delicious food he could think of, a plate of scrapple. Ignorant to its origins, my sisters and I had a similar understanding of scrapple being a delicacy as kids.
I no longer eat meat from commercially produced animals so in order to keep this food in my life and maximize the use of our deer while living off the land, Silvan and I have started making it with venison. The following recipe is not an exact replica of the scrapple that I grew up with, but it is a close second and fills the scrapple sized hole left in my heart when I stopped eating it. We hope you’ll give this recipe a try with your next deer to cut down on waste and expand your culinary horizons!