Considered a savory pudding, panhaas meaning “pan rabbit” (pronounced pawn hoss), in spite of its name, is made with pork — not rabbit. It gained the name because it was often used as a substitute for — and thought to be similar in taste to — well seasoned pan fried (in lard) rabbit.
Frequently also seen spelled as pannhaas, panhoss, ponhoss, or pannhas — a carry over from vintage times with attempts made to spell it phonetically.
Panhaas — or scrapple — is an ethnic breakfast side dish of American Pennsylvania Dutch, German, Amish, and Mennonites served with a topping of either syrup, honey, apple butter, ketchup, or mustard.
I like to make a mixture of a teaspoon of brown sugar or honey and a tablespoon of spicy Dijon mustard, heat it in a skillet until the sugar dissolves, then add a slice or two of left over fried scrapple to reheat and coat the slices before slapping them between two slices of bread.
It is usually served with eggs at breakfast — but also makes for a nice sandwich at lunch time — in pretty much the same way as sliced ham, bacon, or even processed Spam would be used.
It is traditionally made from the swill — such as trotters, bones, bone marrow, offal, and other undesirable parts — and frequently by boiling the entire head — of a freshly butchered hog. Only dirt, any matter left in the alimentary canal, hair, and ear wax are removed and discarded.
However, it can be made with any fresh bone-in, un-cooked, un-seasoned (non-salted) cut of pork.
A short cut (also resulting in a heart healthier, less fatty version) can be taken by purchasing only lean boneless pork. However, it will lose some of that extra layer of flavor imparted by the bone marrow and fat. Nonetheless, it will still taste good and if needed or desired additional seasonings can be added. You also usually need to add a packet of gelatin for it to congeal and set up properly.
After boiling, skin, fat, and bone are removed and any lean meat is kept, finely chopped, then mixed with the broth and a mush is made with a third of the broth and cornmeal and/or buckwheat, and sausage seasonings — which, once cooked together, is then congealed in loaf pans in the refrigerator, sliced, dredged in wheat flour, and pan fried.
Once congealed and sliced, it can be packaged up and stored in the freezer then removed and refrigerated overnight to thaw and kept refrigerated (but only for a few days) until ready to use.
Unlike commercially purchased scrapple, home-made scrapple is made without preservatives and excess salt therefore does not have a prolonged shelf life outside of the freezer.
To darken the color of the scrapple, a cup or so of animal blood may also be added if desired.
Some disagree over whether or not the addition of blood to darken its color makes scrapple a black pudding — since black puddings tend to be made with predominantly blood and fat while scrapple is made using lean meat. Also, scrapple is molded — not packed into a sausage casing as is usually done for black pudding. Plus, there are variations as to the seasonings and other ingredients.
Black pudding (or blood pudding) is a sausage most predominantly made in Great Britain, Ireland, and Scotland that adds suet with either oatmeal, oat groats, barley groats, or bread crumbs and a large portion of pork, beef, or sheep blood and animal fat which is then packed into an intestinal casing. The seasonings used also tend to be different from those commonly used in scrapple.
Panhaas or Scrapple
1 pound pork
1 to 2 large onions
3 quarts water
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons table salt (do not substitute any other forms of salt)
1 tablespoon ground black or white pepper
1 tablespoon sage
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground allspice, optional
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground clove, optional
3 cups cornmeal and/or buckwheat
Place pork and whole onion into large pan and cover with water. Cook slowly, covered, for 2-1/2 hours; drain, reserve broth (about 3 quarts), and remove onions.
Separate lean meat from skin, fat, and bones.
Finely chop meat.
In large pot, add meat, 2 quarts of reserved broth, salt, pepper and sage; bring to a boil.
Combine cornmeal with remaining 1 quart reserved broth and stir into boiling mixture.
Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Cover and cook over VERY LOW heat for 20 to 25 minutes stirring half way through and again when finished.
If doubling the recipe, however, cook over very low heat for about an hour.
Pour into two loaf pans (four if recipe is being doubled). Cool then chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Cut into slices 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick, then freeze.
Scrapple may be kept refrigerated for 4 to 7 days (shelf life is entirely dependent upon the quantity of sodium added) in an airtight container until ready to use.
If following this recipe, the recommendation is that it is to be used within 4 to 5 days.
Coat with seasoned (salt and pepper) flour then brown. It is traditionally browned in butter or bacon fat (lard) in a hot iron skillet.
Prepare breakfast eggs as desired and serve eggs with a side of two slices of scrapple topped with syrup, honey, apple butter, ketchup, or mustard. The eggs may also be served on top; pierce and allow the egg yolk to coat the scrapple instead of or in addition to the condiments.
In addition to the salt, pepper, and sage — any of the spices commonly used in the making of German or breakfast pork sausages (such as anise, cinnamon, clove, allspice, white pepper, mace, powdered ginger, etc.) may also be added if desired to taste.
For a much darker color, pork blood may also added — although this does not make it black pudding according to some and it does exactly that according to others.
Fried scrapple left over from breakfast may be refrigerated and served between two slices of bread with any desired condiments or other additions for a sandwich at lunch — usually after it has been reheated — although it can also be eaten cold if preferred.
A sandwich can also be made and divided up to serve as an afternoon or evening snack (add a little syrup or honey to serve as a treat) for young children.
The onions removed from the initial boiling of the pork may be diced and frozen for use (with additional fresh onion as needed for flavoring) in future casseroles, stews, or soups — or fed as a thank you to the remaining hogs.