How to Make Recipes for Mincemeat

In years past, farmers learned how to make recipes for mincemeat at butchering time. Usually this was a project for fall just in time to make the mincemeat for the holidays. Back then people tried to utilize every part of the animal after butchering, whether it was pork, beef or venison. Most parts of any of these animals can be used to make mincemeat.

I have always used lean beef and suet* (see below) but Dad use to tell me about all the different parts of meat that are used. I learned how to make recipes for mincemeat and I am giving you two. These will show how various parts are used which most people today will discard even if they do butcher their meat. We always have used the hog’s head to make “piggy pudding” and scrapple. The beef tongue was generally pickled or sliced and sautéed.

WHAT IS SUET? Suet is often used when making mincemeat or for barding very lean meat to give added flavor and moistness. It is also used to make tallow which is used to make shortening. Suet is the raw hard fat of the beef which is around the loin and kidneys of the animal. Suet is very different from the soft animal fat. It has a much lower melting point than the fat; 45 Celsius (113 F degrees) to 50 Celsius (122 F degrees) compared to 184 Celsius (363 F degrees).

HOW TO MAKE RECIPES FOR MINCEMEAT made with a beef tongue

  • 1 Beef tongue
  • 2 Pounds seedless raisins
  • 1 Pound finely chopped citron *see below
  • 2 Pounds finely ground beef suet
  • 1 Quart wine or sherry
  • 1 Pint whiskey
  • 2 Pounds sugar
  • 1 Dozen apples peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • ½ Ounce ground cinnamon
  • ¼ Ounce ground mace
  • ¼ Ounce ground nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon salt

Cover tongue with boiling water and simmer until tender; cool.
When meat is cold, chop it very fine; blend together with apples, raisins, citron and suet.
Blend in sugar and spices; pack in a clean stone crock.
Combine wine and whiskey; pour over mixture.
Cover tightly and store in a cool place; will keep for a few months.

RECIPES FOR MINCEMEAT a more modern version made with ground beef

WHAT IS CITRON? Citron is a citrus fruit. It is native to India and is cultivated in the Persian Gulf. I have found it very difficult to purchase here in the United States.  If you cannot find citron, you can substitute with the flesh of citrus fruits; orange, lemon, lime and even grapefruit.

  • 5 Pounds beef cooked and ground
  • 1 Pound suet cooked and ground
  • 2 Pound seeded raisins
  • 1 Pound seedless raisins
  • 1 Pound currants
  • 6 Medium apples finely chopped
  • 1 Quart cherries
  • 1 Pint red wine
  • 1 Quart apple sauce
  • 1 Pound brown sugar
  • 1 Pound granulated sugar
  • 2 Slices orange peel
  • 2 Slices citron
  • 2 Slices lemon peel
  • 2 Pounds ready made mince meat
  • Salt, cinnamon and allspice to taste.

Combine all ingredients and store in cool place

RECIPES FOR MINCEMEAT made with hog’s head

  • 1 Hog head
  • 1 Pound currants
  • 2 Pounds seedless raisins
  • 1 Pounds prunes
  • 1 Quart vinegar
  • ½ Pound citron
  • 3 Pounds sugar
  • Rinds of 2 oranges ground
  • Rinds of 2 lemons ground
  • 1 Can cherries drained and ground
  • 1 Can peaches drained and ground
  • 12 large apples peeled and chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon allspice
  • 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon nutmeg

Combine and mix all ingredients; cook thirty minutes and can in sterilized jars.
Store in a cool place.


How to Make Recipes for Mincemeat like this Brandy Mincemeat PieHow to Make Recipes for Mincemeat like this Brandy Mincemeat Pie

This is a traditional recipe for mincemeat.

  • Pastry for 2 crust pie
  • 3 Cups mincemeat
  • 1 Cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • ¼ Cup diced candied orange peel
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced candied cherries
  • ¼ Cup brandy

Roll out half of the pastry dough to an 11 inch circle; line a 9 inch pie pan and trim excess.
Refrigerate lined pie pan and the other half of dough until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl; spoon into the pastry lined pie pan.
Roll out remaining dough into an 11 inch circle.
Make several slits near the center for steam vents; adjust over the filling and trim excess.
Crimp edges of dough together; bake 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Cool on wire rack.

CHERRY PIE RECIPE with mincemeat

  • Dough for 2 double crust pastries
  • 2 Cups mincemeat
  • 1 Can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • ½ Cup orange marmalade
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • ¼ Cup chopped walnuts

Divide dough in 4 balls and roll 2 balls each into a 12 inch circle; line two 9 inch pie pan.
Combine in mixing bowl the mincemeat, pie filling, marmalade, flour and walnuts.
Divide the mixture evenly between the two pastry lined pie pans.
Roll remaining 2 dough balls into 12 inch circles; cut into ½ inch wide strips.
Weave the strips atop both pies to make lattice tops; flute edges.
Bake at 400F degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.


  • 3 Cups mincemeat
  • 1 Cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 2 Cups peeled sliced apples
  • 1 Double crust pie dough
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

Combine mincemeat, pineapple and apples; blend and set aside.
Roll out ½ of pie dough and line pie pan; spoon mincemeat mixture into pie pan.
Roll out remaining dough and cut all the dough with a leaf shaped cookie cutter.
Arrange all the leaves on top of the mincemeat filling; sprinkle top with sugar.
Bake at 425F degrees for 30 to 35 or until golden brown.
After about 12 minutes cover edges of crust with foil to prevent over browning.