Traditional mincemeat

Traditional mincemeat
  • Serves icon Makes about 1.25kg (enough for about 30 pies)
  • Time icon Hands-on time 10 min, oven time 2-3 hours

The practice of mixing shredded meat with spices and sweet ingredients developed in the medieval era. This ‘mincemeat’ would be cooked in a hard pastry case as a means of containing the meat in the oven, but the pastry soon became an edible part of the pie. By the 17th century mince pies were a Christmas fixture.

If a beefy mince pie seems weird, trust us: this is worth a go. And if it doesn’t appeal, we’ve got a great veggie pie, too.

This recipe is by Anna Higham, head of bread and pastry at Lyle’s and Flor.

Nutrition: For 30

Calories
179kcals
Fat
8.2g (4.4g saturated)
Protein
2.5g
Carbohydrates
19.6g (18.7g sugars)
Fibre
4.4g
Salt
0.8g
Calories
179kcals
Fat
8.2g (4.4g saturated)
Protein
2.5g
Carbohydrates
19.6g (18.7g sugars)
Fibre
4.4g
Salt
0.8g

Ingredients

  • 300g British beef mince (see tips)
  • 225g coarsely grated apple
  • 260g sultanas
  • 260g currants
  • 190g soft dark brown sugar
  • 225g beef suet
  • Finely grated zest and juice 1½ oranges
  • Finely grated zest and juice 1½ lemons
  • 95ml brandy
  • 95ml rum
  • 40ml port
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp ground allspice
  • 1 whole nutmeg, grated

You’ll also need…

  • Large ovenproof pan

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1. Heat the pan over a medium heat, add the beef mince and fry for 8-10 minutes until browned. Add the remaining ingredients, then stir to combine and to help dissolve the sugar. There’s no need to strain off the fat.
  2. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2-3 hours, stirring every hour to incorporate all the cooking juices, until gloriously sticky and thick. Take out of the oven and leave to cool, stirring every now and then. If potting up, do so while it’s still warm (see below).

delicious. tips

  1. Ask a good butcher for fatty, top-quality beef mince. Store the mincemeat in the fridge.

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