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The Victorians knew what they were doing when they added real beef to their mincemeat. For the best mince pies this Christmas try this Victorian Meat Mincemeat and accept no substitute. The meat isn't obvious but your mince pies will be rich, luxurious and the hit of the festive season.
Mincemeat with real meat
Ever since investigating (otherwise known as making and eating a lot of mince pies) the best recipe for making mincemeat and discovering that the Victorians used real meat I have never looked back.
For some reason we balk when we hear about mince pies with actual meat in it but I have no idea why. We eat sweet chutneys with ham all the time.
In the words of Joey, what’s not to like? Pastry good. Brandied fruits good. Beef gooood. And as it turns out, together, really good.
There are two very fine ladies I turned to in developing this recipe, Delia Smith and Mrs Beeton, two Great British institutions. It wouldn’t be Christmas without either in this house.
I took advice from both of them regarding mincemeat and ran with it, adding a few twists and turns along the way.
Pastry recipe. If you need an excellent gluten-free pastry recipe for using this mincemeat to make mince pies why not try this All-Butter Gluten-Free Pastry recipe. It's simple, delicious, flaky, easy to roll out and has no xanthan gum.
Table of contents
Why you'll love this recipe
- Simply the best mincemeat you'll have ever tasted.
- Rich in flavour with a velvety texture and wonderful umami flavour.
- Not too sweet which is feat for any mince pie which can often be a little sickly. These are not that, this mincemeat with beef are the perfect balance of sweetness.
- They are a perfect filling for these Gluten-Free Mince Pies or even these Gluten-Free Frangipane Mince Pies.
Which meat to use
This mincemeat recipe uses fresh minced or ground beef. I recommend you choose the highest quality you can find either direct from the farmer or butcher so there is plenty of fat which will give the mincemeat a luxurious quality once cooked.
Plus I always advocate buying the best meat you can source for any recipe.
What does real meat mincemeat taste like?
Victorian Meat Mincemeat is so delicious as it eschews an abundance of sweetness. Instead the beef mince adds a wonderful soft texture which is molten in with the rest of the ingredients.
This mincemeat with beef is the ultimate choice for your traditional mince pie, rich, fruity, boozy and you would never know there was meat in it unless told. Which you must do as your vegetarian and vegan friends might get annoyed. All you think is you are eating the best mince pie in town.
- Beef mince. The mince should be raw and the best quality you can find. Organic, free-range and grass-fed if possible.
- Beef suet. If you need your mincemeat to be gluten-free then use real beef suet which you can obtain from a good butcher.
- Apples. A bramley apple for tang and a cox apple for sweetness.
- Currants. They give a superior flavour than raisins.
- Glace cherries. For a bright lush colour and if you have Homemade Glace Cherries then even better.
- Prunes. These give a lovely rich flavour and plenty of good chewy texture.
- Sugar. Dark brown sugar gives a rich molasses flavour.
- Citrus. We use the zest and juice of orange, grapefruit and lemon here.
- Whole almonds, slivered
- Spices. We need mixed spice, cinnamon and fresh nutmeg
- Brandy. A lovely festive boozy kick to the proceedings.
How to make it
Making mincemeat could not be easier. You simply mix all of the ingredients up together in a large mixing bowl. Making sure to stir well to get the beef mince thoroughly incorporated.
You can use this meat mincemeat straightaway but it is better if allowed to mature for at least a week.
How to store
You should decant the raw meat mincemeat straightaway into sterilised jars and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The sugars and alcohol preserve all the ingredients, including the beef, excellently in this way.
- This recipe contains raw meat so you may want to make sure you are using the freshest and best quality beef you can.
- Please note as well that since this recipe contains raw meat you will need to cook the mincemeat, such as within a mince pie, before eating.
- Use for your favourite mince pie recipe, the cooking time will be the same as for any mincemeat.
Gluten-free mince pie recipes to try
To make your Victorian Mince Pie recipe why not try these recipes..
Alternative mincemeat recipes
- Vegan mincemeat. If you are vegan or veggie and the idea of putting real beef in your mincemeat is a total non-starter then do try Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat instead which is fresh fruity and delicious.
- Easy everyday mincemeat. Or for a more modern mincemeat recipe which skips out the real meat but does contain beef suet try this Easy Mincemeat Recipe.
If you make this Victorian Meat Mincemeat then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.
Victorian Meat Mincemeat
- 1 bramley apple - peeled, cored and diced
- 1 cox apple - peeled, cored and diced
- 200 g beef suet - get your suet from the butcher if you need it gluten-free*
- 200 g raw beef mince - organic, free-range, grass fed if possible
- 275 g raisins
- 225 g currants
- 100 g natural glace cherries - diced
- 100 g pitted prunes - diced
- 300 g dark brown sugar
- grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- grated zest and juice of ½ red grapefruit
- grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 50 g whole almonds - slivered
- 4 teaspoons mixed ground spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 100 ml brandy
- Stir everything together in a large mixing bowl and decant into sterilised jars.
- You can use this mincemeat straightaway in your favourite mince pie recipe or store in the fridge for up to two weeks.