York Town Square

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Helpful York County cooks come forward with their time-tested hog maw recipes

Hog maw, a Pennsylvania Dutch food staple, is the lining of a pig’s stomach, usually packed with sausage, potatoes, onions and others ingredients. One York County, Pa., church, Dover Township’s Mount Royal United Methodist, has become well known for its hog maw – and oysters – fund-raising dinners. Also of interest: Check out Mount Royal United Methodist’s popular hog maw recipe and Rite of fall in York, Pa.: ‘Feast on oysters – fried, stewed or nude’ and Mix ‘You know you’re a Yorker, if’ with oysters. You get… .

A recent observation by a reader of the re-printed York Hospital “Benefit” Cookbook remarked that no recipe for hog maw was listed in its 240 pages.
That comment was printed in the York Daily Record/Sunday News and drew several remarks – and two hog maw recipes from readers.
One reader could not understand why anyone would be reticent to eat parts of a pig’s stomach, which immediately brings to mind Granny’s comments about sow’s belly on TV “The Beverly Hillbillies.” …

The reader said it’s common to have a skin or skins plate, where the cooked casing can be cast after the goodies inside – potatoes and sausage and cabbage and onions etc. – are served.
Uh, skins plate. That didn’t help, even though I’m half Pennsylvania Dutch and half Scots-Irish, and the Scots are known to eat things stuffed into animal stomachs.
All this brings to mind going to Central Market with my kids, who loved to look at the cow’s ears and tongues, pig’s feet and tripe (usually part of a cow’s stomach) in the cold cases. In some perverse way, the sight of these Pennsylvania Dutch treats, often swimming in some form of liquid, were so unappetizing you couldn’t take your eyes off them.
But seriously – seriously because hog maw is a delicacy for many in York County – back to the recipes.
Charlotte Sheffer Baker sent in the following, used by her family for generations:

– 3 pounds sausage meat (1 pound beef optional)
– 2 onions
– 3 cups shredded cabbage
– 5 potatoes diced
– parsley
– 6 tsp. coriander
– 3 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. pepper
– Oven temperature, 350 degrees.

And here is Grace Bupp’s recipe:

-2.5 or 3 pounds of sausage
– About 10 potatoes
– 1/2 onion
– a little parsley
– salt and pepper
– start at 450 degrees and turn back after 20 minutes to 350 degrees for four hours.

Also of interest:

– All posts about the Pennsylvania Dutch from the start.

– Check out these numerous stories about how York eats: Hog maw and such.

– Only York’s Joan Concilio writes all the time about York County food. See: New Year’s pork and sauerkraut, the 2012 edition.

– Check out the location of York’s Sauer Kraut Hill.


*Edited, 12/31/11