My grandpa, Kenny Schwartz, was great at a lot of things—master electrician, waitress sweet-talker, napper—and he was especially good at making scrapple. In fact, pretty much the only time he stepped foot in the kitchen was to fry up these savory strips of German goodness. It was his special breakfast and no one could take that away from him.
So, now that he’s passed on, I thought I’d try my hand at his specialty, to carry on the tradition in my own way. While you normally make scrapple with leftover pig scraps (my grandpa used the neck meat), I think pheasant legs are the perfect substitute. It’s a flavorful, but lean, meat that’s perfect for frying up into crunchy cornmeal and far too many hunters throw them in the trash with the carcass. Instead, save up those pheasant legs for some of the best breakfast you’ll have in your entire life—at least, that’s what Kenny believed and by default, so do I.
This is one of those recipes that seems more complicated than it really is. Really, you can make pheasant broth and prepare the leg meat at any time, storing it in your freezer. Once you remove that step from the process, you’re essentially mixing meat, broth and cornmeal, cooling it overnight and then frying it in a pan. It’s simple, delicious, and a great alternative to the three or four breakfast foods modern America is stuck with these days. No offense, pancakes, but according to my German blood, you’ve got nothing on some well-fried scrapple.
NOTE: You can get creative with the mixture, but I prefer to keep it simple. Since it’s a sweet/savory combination, you could add fruit like raisins or cranberries or even replace the sweetness with jalapeño and skip the syrup altogether. Regardless, you want to make sure any solids in your mixture are thinly sliced or it’ll be tough to cut into even slices.