• By Ken Perrotte

This Spicy Venison Scrapple Isn't 'Offal' -- No Pig Tongues Here; Give It a Try!

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

(Blog includes a video) A newspaper column about this topic appeared in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. Link here.

Scrape Those Deer Bones & Make Scrapple

Scrapple - even the name summons up images of something likely less than satisfying or enjoyable from a dining standpoint. When I first saw scrapple, I immediately thought of Spam. Like Spam, scrapple is formed into a loaf and the exact ingredients might be a bit of a mystery -- that is, until you read the label listing the ingredients. Commercial pork scrapple is made from a heaping helping of pig offal, with meats and materials from the hog’s head, heart, liver, tongue and, possibly, some other internal organs. Scrapple has been a traditional food in Mid-Atlantic states for centuries, with origins believed to trace back to German black puddings made with blood and pork parts. American scrapple isn't made with blood, at least not that I've heard. Instead, cornmeal, buckwheat or some other flour thickener is used in the mix. Sage and pepper are common seasonings.

Scrapple recipes can be as diverse as regional and individual tastes, but they all share a common attribute: the finished product is a cooked mush that is poured and shaped into a loaf. It's usually eaten at breakfast. You just slice a piece about 1/2-inch or so from the loaf and fry it, crisping it on both sides and keeping it soft in the center.

Preston Thompson of Essex County, Virginia, is "Old School" when it comes to using as much of any animal he plans on eating, whether it be wild or domestic. He butchers a couple big hogs every year and makes his own bacon, fatback, hams and more, including a somewhat traditional scrapple..

A small building just down the hill from Thompson’s house on his Essex County farm is his creative

nerve center. Sometimes it’s a workshop for crafting and painting award-winning waterfowl decoys. Other times, it’s a laboratory for making homemade wines, jellies and jams from just about every edible fruit and berry growing in the Virginia wild. During deer season, though, it’s a regular venison production line as he and his family and friends labor break down deer into steaks, roasts, burger sausage and scrapple. When it comes to making deer scrapple, though, Thompson eschews the offal and instead focuses on the meat that often adheres to the bones after the main cuts of venison steaks and roasts have been cut from the carcass. This is the perfectly edible meat that too many hunters and deer processors discard.

“I don’t like to waste any part of that deer that you can eat,” Thompson said. “There’s still a lot of meat on those necks, ribs and legs after you’ve boned out the bigger pieces of meat.”

Thompson, now in his early 70s, knows what it means to hunt and fish for food. Squirrels, rabbits, fish, crabs and oysters were routine fare in his upbringing not far from the Potomac River. Making and eating scrapple has been a family tradition across many decades.

Here is how he does it. After processing the deer, place all bones in a large pot with water and cook it down for a few hours, reducing the volume of liquid and concentrating flavors in this broth you are making. Thompson calls this broth “the juice” and he retains it for the scrapple. After cooling the juice to allow any fat to congeal and float to the surface, he strains it. “See that brown stuff in the bottom. That’s good stuff, from the marrow,” he said as the bucket emptied.

The cooked meat should readily come off the bone. Remove the meat from the bones and separate any sinew or inedible parts that remain. After picking and sorting, run it through a grinder to achieve a smooth consistency.


4 1/2 pounds of ground cooked deer meat

1 1/2 gallons of meat liquid

8 beef bouillon cubes

4 ounces ground sage

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons black pepper

1 Tablespoon red pepper

3 Tablespoons salt

2 1/2 pounds white cornmeal

(This yields about 15+ pounds of mixture)


Line 5 loaf pans with flexible plastic wrap. Add all ingredients except cornmeal in a deep cooking pot, bringing it to a rolling boil while stirring constantly. The mixture will take on an almost slurry like appearance. Then, sprinkle in cornmeal while stirring continuously -- your arms will get a workout making this dish. Thompson says this part of the process, whisking in 2.5 pounds of white cornmeal, the most dangerous. "You have to watch it. This stuff will blow up on you,” he said. Indeed, the concoction will bubble and belch lava-like streams of scrapple toward the top of the large pot. Protect your hands and arms or have some cat-like reflexes. Keep whisking until you're satisfied that the mix is cooked enough and any big lumps of cornmeal have been sufficiently broken down and incorporated. The next step involves pouring the still warm mixture into the loaf pans. After it’s refrigerated for 24 hours, it can be removed from the pans and sliced or wrapped and frozen for later use.,


Heat oil until it starts to smoke. Slice scrapple about 3/8 to 1/2-inch thick. Carefully put in pan and let cook until crispy on one side. Flip and do the same for the other side. Do not flip until crispy or it will fall apart. With experience, you'll figure out how to keep everything intact. Enjoy! Serve it alongside eggs or biscuits or any other favorite breakfast ingredients; or, slap it between some bread or a roll and make a sandwich.

Using all the meat from a game animal sometimes takes effort and a time commitment. But, in the end, it is the right thing to do and the results are rewarding.

#Scrapple #Venison #wildgamecooking

Subscribe for new stories, reviews, and more. 
(Don't worry, we won't spam you)

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2017-2021 Kmunicate Worldwide LLC, All Rights Reserved. Outdoors adventures, hunting, fishing, travel, innovative wild game and fish recipes, gear reviews and coverage of outdoors issues. Except as noted, all text and images are by Ken Perrotte (Outdoors Rambler (SM). Some items, written by Ken Perrotte and previously published elsewhere, are revised or excerpted under provisions of the Fair Use Doctrine


Privacy Policy:

What type of information do you collect? We receive, collect and store any information you enter on our website. In addition, we collect the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet; login; e-mail address; password; computer and connection information and purchase history. We may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information, and methods used to browse away from the page. We also collect personally identifiable information (including name, email, password, communications); payment details (including credit card information – although the site does not currently engage in any type of e-commerce), comments, feedback, product reviews, recommendations, and personal profile.

How do you collect information? When a visitor to the site sends you a message through a contact form or subscribes to receive updates and other communications about new stuff on the site, we collect that subscriber’s email address. That address is used only for marketing campaigns or other information we send regarding site updates or changes. Site usage data may be collected by our hosting platform Wix.com or by third-party services, such as Google Analytics or other applications offered through the Wix App Market, placing cookies or utilizing other tracking technologies through Wix´s services, may have their own policies regarding how they collect and store information. As these are external services, such practices are not covered by the Wix Privacy Policy. These services may create aggregated statistical data and other aggregated and/or inferred Non-personal Information, which we or our business partners may use to provide and improve our respective services. Data may also be collected to comply with any applicable laws and regulations.

How do you store, use, share and disclose your site visitors' personal information? Our company is hosted on the Wix.com platform. Wix.com provides us with the online platform that allows us to share information or sell products and services to you. Your data may be stored through Wix.com’s data storage, databases and the general Wix.com applications. They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall.

How do you communicate with your site visitors? The primary means of communicating with site users is via email for the purposes of marketing campaigns, promotions, and update. We may contact you to notify you regarding your subscription, to troubleshoot problems, resolve a dispute, collect fees or monies owed, to poll your opinions through surveys or questionnaires, to send updates about our company, or as otherwise necessary to contact you to enforce our User Agreement, applicable national laws, and any agreement we may have with you. For these purposes we may contact you via email, telephone, text messages, and postal mail.

How do you use cookies and other tracking tools? Our hosting platform Wix.com and our analytical services providers such as Google Analytics may place cookies that facilitate their services. To be perfectly honest, Kmunicate Worldwide LLC, the owner of outdoorsrambler.com, never looks at cookies or any other tracking/data collection tools, only the aggregated reports provided by the hosting service or analytical services providers.

How can your site visitors withdraw their consent? If you don’t want us to process your data anymore, please contact us using the “Contact Us” form on the site.

Privacy policy updates: We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy at any time, so please review it frequently. Changes and clarifications will take effect immediately upon their posting on the website. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here that it has been updated, so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we use and/or disclose it.