Puddin’ Meat–Good Food for a Cold Morning; (Mom’s Recipe Found and Included)

A few days ago, I mentioned hamburger gravy, tuna gravy, and chipped beef gravy. Another of what I would call “country” foods that my mother made was puddin’ meat. We didn’t raise our own hogs (my sister says my dad thought they might hurt kids), but we frequently got pork from some neighbor, and for sure, we had ground sausage that we made into patties.

To make puddin’ meat, they would get a hog’s head and boil it for some time, and after it was very well cooked and then cooled down, Mom would clean the head and take all the actual meat from the bones. All the scraps-skin, bones, brains, and the like–got thrown to the dogs. Then with the meat and some of the liquid, she would stir in oatmeal, and cook it until it thickened. I suppose it got salted and peppered a little, but it didn’t have any other spices. She scooped the thickened combination into loaf pans, and they were put into the refrigerator to chill. (Mom’s recipe found, see it below.)

When it had set up, we would slice it into about 1/4-3/8 inch slices and fry it for breakfast. You didn’t need to put any grease in the skillet because the pork had enough fat in it to get browned up without burning. I always liked it fried really crispy, but some of the others liked it a little less so. She usually made 3 or 4 loaf pans of puddin’ meat, and it would last quite awhile. I know that it didn’t easily spoil because sometimes we would “take a break” from having it, and there’d still be maybe one more pan that we would eat later.

Sometimes, when Mom made puddin’ meat, she also made corn meal mush, which she also put in loaf pans, chilled, and then fried the same way. We used to put our homemade butter on the the fried mush. I liked them both, especially cooked for breakfast.

In later years, people didn’t butcher so much, so then the folks would buy a pork roast or loin, or some other “chunk” of pork, and make the puddin’ meat from that.

I don’t know where our family tradition of making puddin’ meat came from. While I was growing up, none of the people I went to school with made it. In my hometown, many of the people were of German-Russian heritage, and in our neighboring town (our farm was in between), most of the people were Bohemians (these days they call themselves Czechs). Some of the traditional foods that these people had brought with them (kolaches and bierochs), my mom learned to make and I can still make them today. Maybe my dad’s family had brought it from England, or maybe my mom’s family who were Pennsylvania Dutch (German) and New York staters of English background had made it. I know they have scrapple in Pennsylvania, but I think that’s something different.

My Mom’s Puddin’ Meat Recipe

  • 1 pound pork roast, cooked and ground up
  • Broth from the roast, enough to cover the meat
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In broth, put as much oatmeal as you have ground pork roast.  Cook the oatmeal (regular oatmeal not instant) for as long as the box says.  Then add the ground up meat to the oatmeal mixture and pack in loaf pans.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled. (Usually overnight.)

Slice and fry until brown on both sides.  Good with toast.

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If you liked this one, you might also like “Coffee Milk and Hopalong Cassidy” and “Hamburger Gravy“.

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11 Responses

  1. That’s not Puddin… That’s called scrapple. Puddin actually looks like ground beef.. Puddin is whats left over of the whole pig AFTER scrapple is made.

    • I kind of just want to say “whatever” to your comment. I’m sure that my family has been calling this “puddin’ meat” for more than 100 years.

    • You are right,I was born and raised in P A in the 30d and lived off scrapple and meat pudding.The meat pudding goes on buckweat cakes,scrapple is fryed and coverd with syrup .

  2. As a kid my grand parents butchered hogs and beef,they made puddin meat and packed it into crocks sealed with a layer of lard,yummy puddin and pancakes for breakfast.during the depression era that was living high on the Hog.

  3. As I said before, we called what we made “puddin’ meat” and I still call it that. I don’t know where you are from, but on our farm in the very center of Kansas, my parents called it “puddin’ meat”. I’m not a kid. My dad was in WWI. My mom’s grandparents came from Pennsylvania and her grandfather who came to Kansas was a Civil War veteran. In addition, I’ve got the recipe in my mother’s own hand that says “Puddin’ Meat” right at the top.

    People from different places have different names for the same foods. Here in Texas, we have great chicken fried steak. If you go to a Mexican restaurant, a very similar dish is called “milanesa”. Do you use a “skillet” or a “frying” pan? Is one right and one wrong? I grew up saying “ice box” for “refrigerator because that’s what everyone in my family said.

    If you don’t understand that many different things have a variety of names, you could do well to take a socio-linguistics course from which you might learn that terminology changes from region to region and even from family to family.

    If you want to come to my blog and disagree about politics and religion, we can go a round or two, but when you come here and try to say that the way I make some food or the name that I call some food is wrong, then I will tell you, “eff off.”

  4. Wow, you people need to take a pill or something! ;) Trip to the Outhouse is absolutely correct. That is Puddin’, as it is well known in SE PA. Scrapple is always made with cornmeal.
    She is also absolutely right that y’all are making a silly fuss. It is fine if these things differ from region to region.

  5. rogar on Jan.15, 2013 at 3:40 am
    I agree 100% with wes, on June 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm.
    As a kid I grew up on puddin over pancakes or buckwheat cakes. I now live in Baltimore MD. and for the past 50 yrs.I have been looking for a restaurant where I could buy this delicious meal maybe one more time before I pass.

  6. You can buy puddin in Hagerstown. Martin’s grocery store sells Hoffman’s brand.

    • Roger
      there is a restaurant in hagerstown that has hotcakes and puddin it is on S. potomac st. the name is J and J i think they open around 3 in the morning. Im sure they are in the book. also dicks market has it on salem ave.

  7. I grew up in Washington DC, and was fed scrapple and pork pudding! However (to add to the mix)! We ate our pudding with whole homily! Live now in SF Ca. And there is none to be found! Very disappointed.I have my newphew mail overnight when I get to jonesing for either one. He gets it at a farmers market in College Park, Md. My son in northern Ca can sometimes find scrapple for me. I miss both of those foods!

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