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Traditional and Modern Mince Meat 3 Ways

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Traditional and Modern Mince Meat 3 Ways
4 pints: 4 pies, 24 muffin-sized tarts or 48 tartlets Easy
Total: Active:
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Ingredients (14)

  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 8 Cloves
  • 12 Allspice Berries
  • 2 large Granny Smith Apples, cored, peeled, and diced
  • Zest & juice from 1.5 large Lemons
  • Zest & juice from 3 Clementines
  • 8.5 oz Dried & Sweetened Cranberries
  • 5 oz Dried Apricots, chopped
  • 3T Peeled & Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 3/4 C Grated (or minced) Beef Suet
  • 2/3 C Turbinado Sugar
  • 1/4 C Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1/2 C Roast Beef, diced (preferably cooked without garlic, herbs, or strong spices)
  • 500mL of Bourbon
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After a few hours of frustrating research on the internet for a decent mincemeat recipe (90% state “use store bought or homemade”, which is as useful as “get a can of pie filling and a premade crust”), I came up with my own recipe which eschews candied fruit (the gross stuff from fruitcake most of us hate). Having lost my bag of almonds, they weren’t added (but will probably be blanched, chopped, and added to the tartlets). Personally, I really can’t stand mushy nuts in sweet or savoury goods and omitting them allows the nuts to retain their crunch when topping the mince.

This recipe makes 4 pint jars—2 with meat and suet, 1 with just suet, and 1 without sweeteners or fat so that everyone can enjoy mince in it’s modern and more traditional forms. The mince should be jarred in the refrigerator at least 2 days for the flavours to meld, although it’s preferable to have them resting for at least 14 days.

Note: substituting juice for alcohol would reduce the amount of time this can be stored, as the alcohol acts as a preservative. If juice is substituted, use within 3 days.

Additional supplies needed:
4 sterilized mason jars with lids & rings
Wide-mouthed Funnel

(I’m not including a pie crust recipe or baking instructions here, as there are plenty to be found elsewhere. An egg-washed, flaky, double crust with vents is traditional.)


  1. 1To each mason jar, add 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 3 allspice berries.
  2. 2Mix apples, lemon juice & zest, clementine juice & zest, dried cranberries and apricots, and fresh ginger. Pack first jar loosely with mixture, add bourbon to 3/4" to top. Label fat, sugar, and meat-free/vegan mince, and refrigerate.
  3. 3To bowl, add suet, sugar, and molasses; mix well. Pack second jar loosely with mixture, add bourbon to 3/4" to top. Label suet mince, and refrigerate.
  4. 4To bowl, add diced beef (if some parts are rare, lightly brown in a frying pan with a neutral oil). Mix well and add to third and fourth jars, add bourbon to 3/4" to top. Label mince meat, and refrigerate.
  5. 5Make Manhattans with remaining 1/2 lemon or drink some bourbon neat.
  6. 6Leave mince jars in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 days to (recommended) 2 weeks for flavours to meld. Drain and pan-fry to adjust for taste before adding to pre-baked crust and baking. If there’s too much liquid left over, make a hard sauce from it.
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