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Old-Fashioned Mincemeat

Serving size: 4 quarts, enough for 4 pies


  • 2 pounds boneless lean beef or venison
  • 1 pound beef suet (see Note)
  • 2 1/2 pounds apples, peeled and cored
  • 1/2 pound dried figs
  • 1/2 pound pitted dates
  • 2 pounds golden raisins
  • 2 pounds dried currants
  • 1/2 cup candied citron peel
  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel
  • 1/2 cup candied lemon peel
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups boiled cider (see recipe introduction)
  • 1 cup apple brandy
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup currant jelly
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon mace


  • Instructions
  • Place beef or venison in a shallow pan and brown on all sides under the broiler. Transfer to a large pot and cover by two inches in cold water. Cook, covered, over low heat for 2 1/2 hours or until tender enough to shred apart with a fork. Lift the meat out and transfer to a plate. Cool, then chop fine by hand or cut into chunks and chop in the food processor, using brief pulses. Finely chop suet and combine with beef in a large nonreactive pan.
  • Finely chop apples, figs, and dates: add to beef mixture. Add raisins and currants. Finely chop citron, orange peel, and lemon peel and stir in. Pour on the beef broth, cider, brandy, and run. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the molasses, brown sugar, and jelly. Add salt and spices and stir to mix well. Simmer uncovered for 2 hours or until mixture has thickened to a juicy, relish-like consistency.


  • Homemade mincemeat may be canned in mason jars and stored for one year in a cool, dry place. Spoon hot mincemeat into sterilized quart jars, leaving 1" headroom. Seal and process for 20 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Or cool and transfer to plastic freezer containers or glass refrigerator jars. It may be frozen for six months or kept in the refrigerator for up to a month.


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