Nothing says British Christmas like mincemeat. Originally mincemeat was made with ground meat, offals, eggs and whatever else was on hand which was a way for preserving meat without salting or smoking.
The Victorians were the first to start making mincemeat without meat, but still used suet which is still a component of many modern recipes. Suet is the fat taken from the kidney area of a beef carcass. It adds a silky texture to mincemeat and English puddings.
Once you have mincemeat prepared you can incorporate it into your holiday baking in a number of ways.
Easy Peasy Classic Mincemeat
- 3 large lemons
- 4 cups raisins
- 4 cups currants
- 1 ½ cups shredded suet* or 1/2 cup softened butter or shortening
- 2 cups brown sugar or sugar substitute
- 1 cup mixed candied peel
- 2 tsp. allspice
- 2 tsp. ground cloves
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 cup brandy or rum
- 1 tbsp. orange marmalade
- Peel the zest off the lemons, avoiding the white pulp, then finely dice. Juice the lemons then add to a Dutch oven.
- Add in the remaining ingredients except the brandy. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer until it has thickened and is syrupy, about 45 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to cool, then add the alcohol.
- Store the mincemeat in a cool place until ready to use.