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Savory Polenta


Julia Child's Scrapple Recipe
4 cups sausage meat preferably homemade, about 1½ pound
4 cups pork stock or beef meat stock
1 tablespoon or more fragrant sage leaf
   or 1 teaspoon ground sage
1 cup yellow cornmeal.
½ cup cold water
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt

Sauté sausage meat in a large frying pan until it is no longer pink. Break up with fork. About 5 minutes. Drain out the fat.

Bring the stock to a boil adding sage to taste. Mix the cornmeal with the cold water in a bowl and then whisk in a cupful of the hot stock. Return cornmeal to stock and bring to a boil whisking slowly and cook for 5 minutes or more until mixture is thick, like cornmeal mush. Cover pan, set in a larger pan of simmering water and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from pan of hot water and boil over moderately hit heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until cornmeal is thick and heavy and holds its shape in a spoon — the thicker the better, so that it will unmold and slice easily later.

Beat the cooked and drained sausage meat into the cornmeal, breaking it up so that it will blend nicely and boil, stirring and beating for 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in eggs. Taste carefully for seasoning; scrapple is traditionally fragrant with sage and highly seasoned.

Oil an 8 cup loaf pan, line bottom of pan with wax paper, and turn the cornmeal mixture into it. Cover with wax paper and aluminum foil and bake for an hour or more in a preheated 350ºF oven until mixture is swelled and bubbling hot.

Remove from oven, place a board on top of the scrapple (over the wax paper and foil) and a 5 pound weight and let cool. When cold, remove weight and board, cover airtight and chill.

Once baked in its pan, scrapple will keep for at least 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. It can be frozen; however, pork products tend to lose texture and savor after two months in the freezer.


To serve run a knife around inside of mold, then set mold on top of stove to heat and loosen bottom; unmold onto a cutting board. Slice into serving pieces about 3/8 inch thick. Dredge lightly in cornmeal and brown on both sides in oil.

Serve for breakfast with fried or poached eggs, or fried apple slices; or use as a dinner meat, accompanying the scrapple with green vegetables such as broccoli or cabbage, or a green salad or cole slaw.


3 cups water
1 cup cornmeal

Bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Pour in cornmeal steadily, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until mixture is thickened. It should come away from sides of the pan, and be able to support a spoon. This can take anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes. Pour polenta onto a wooden cutting board, let stand for a few minutes.

Savory Polenta

4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheeze

In a large, oven-safe saucepan heat half the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.

Turn the heat up to high, add the chicken stock, bring to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once you have added all of the cornmeal continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring to prevent lumps. Once the mixture is creamy, add the cheese, spices, and the other half of the olive oil. Stir until the cheese is melted and mixed in.

Serve as is, or pour the polenta into 9 by 13-inch cake pan lined with parchment paper. Put weights on tip. Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Once set, turn the polenta out onto a cutting board and cut into squares, rounds, or triangles. Sauté in additional olive oil.