James Beard's Mincemeat

READY IN: 722hrs
YIELD: 20-25 pies




  • "Begin by assembling a goodly supply of Cognac, apple brandy, sherry, and if you can find it, boiled cider. If not, settle for more apple brandy or applejack and more Cognac. You can also use up any odd liqueur or that bottle you were given last Christmas and have kept hidden on a shelf. All these things will help to make your mincemeat better.".
  • Boil the rump and tongue separately in salted water until tender. Let the rump cool until it can be handled, remove the excess fat, and chop coarsely or put through the coarse blade of a meat grinder.
  • Let the tongue cool, remove the skin, and chop or grind coarsely.
  • Chop the beef suet very finely and combine it in a crock with the meats.
  • Add raisins, sultanas, currants, citron, peels and mix well.
  • Add sugar and jams and salt. Mix spices together and mix into the mixture in the crock.
  • Mix ingredients well with the hands and then cover the mixture with Sherry, Cognac, etc. -- enough to a make a rather loose mixture.
  • Cover tightly and let rest for 2 weeks.
  • Uncover and taste and add more spirits if necessary. Let rest for another 2 weeks before using.
  • At this point, if you wish to store the mincemeat in smaller containers, transfer it to sterilized jars or crocks, add more liquor, and seal or cover them tightly.
  • The mincemeat will keep more or less indefinitely in a cool place or in the refrigerator.
  • When using for pies, Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tart apple to each 2 1/2 to 3 cups mincemeat. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking until crust is well browned.