Real Mincemeat

A recipe from the good old days, when mincemeat was what it said it was, a highly spiced preserve containing real meat. Make it at least a week, ideally a month, before you use it. Mince pies made with this are less sweet than the usual fare, and have more body and substance. I guarantee you will love them. This mincemeat also makes a great stuffing for a loin of pork.


  • 500g coarsely minced braising or chuck steak
  • 250g beef suet
  • 250g currants
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g tart eating apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 65g preserved ginger in syrup, plus 2 tbsp of the syrup
  • 65g chopped mixed peel
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • ½ lemon, juiced and zest grated
  • ½ orange, juiced and zest grated
  • ¼ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 125ml brandy


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix thoroughly, ideally with your hands. Put in sterilised jars and seal. Keep for up to a month before using. Double the amount of brandy, and it will keep for a year.
  2. Make mince pies using a sweet pastry recipe, or a bought pastry, and serve piping hot with brandy butter, or calvados custard.
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus maturing
  • Total time: 40 minutes 40 minutes

Makes: Makes 6 500g jars

5 stars

Average user rating Based on 9 ratings

This recipe was first published in Sun Dec 01 00:00:00 GMT 2002.