March 28, 2020

The Best Mincemeat Ever


Faith Pineo Photo | Mincemeat

This recipe got its start with a dear friend of the family. She loved to cook and garden and did so right into her 90s. She shared recipes with my grandmother, including this one.

Nana tweaked it a bit then gave the recipe to us. And we tweaked it a bit more.

This is the result: the best mincemeat you can make.

Do NOT let it scare you. It has no frightening, glowing candied fruit, no bizarre spices, no wild animal parts (unless you really want to).

This mincemeat is perfectly spiced and delicious. Give it a try.

A single batch makes enough for a very generous mincemeat pie.


In a very large bowl combine:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
dash of salt

Cut in 1 stick of butter or margarine (it’s OK if there are a few chunks of butter left)

Mix in:
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup very strong coffee (make a cup of coffee as if to drink and use from that)
1/4 cup molasses

Set aside. Measure out 1 1/2 cups raisins, coarsely chop 1/2 of them, leaving the other half whole. Add all to bowl. Finely chop 4 cups apple (about 5 medium MacIntosh). Add to the bowl and stir well. Mix in 2 cups of 85 -90 percent lean ground beef*. Combine thoroughly so no chunks of meat remain. Place in a covered baking dish and cook in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. Stir mixture, return to oven, reduce heat to 350* and cook for 30-40 minutes longer with baking dish lid slightly off (to cook off some of the extra moisture).

Cool and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days. Mincemeat will thicken as it cools.

This recipe freezes well. Place 1 cup in a freezer bag, flatten and seal. Can be used straight from the freezer for a quick mincemeat “turnover”. Simply place 1 cup on a piecrust, fold over, crimp edges and bake as you normally would. Also can be used to make mincemeat cookies (heavenly). (Recipe posting here.)

* Deer meat or moose meat can be used in place of the ground beef. Bear meat is not recommended. If deer meat is used, increase butter by 2 tbsp to make up for the lack of fat in the meat.

– Janine and Faith Pineo