This is a preserve that has so many variations it is difficult to know where to start. Originally, mincemeat did have meat in it, so for recipe (1) I will give this, as it is the only one where any cooking is required. In all other cases the ingredients are finely chopped, mixed well together, then the rum and brandy added and mixed in well.



(1) 450g (1lb) lean beef, 910g (2lb) beef suet, 910g (2lb) moist sugar, 1.4kg (3lb) currants, 450g (1lb) mixed candied peel, 340g (¾lb) mixed peel, grated rind of 6 lemons, juice of 2 lemons, 28g (1oz) mixed spice. Stew beef till tender, chop finely (or coarse mince) and when cold mix with all other ingredients; pot and cover closely. Finely chopped tongue may be used instead of beef and, before using, a small quantity of fresh chopped apple mixed well in.

(2) 450g (1lb) currants, 450g (1lb) sultanas, 450g (1lb) coarse chopped raisins, 680g (1½lb) beef suet, 450g (1lb) brown sugar, 28g (1oz) mixed spice, 450g (1lb) peeled, cored and chopped apples, grated rind and juice of 2 lemons and 3 oranges, rum or brandy, or a mixture of both, to just moisten. 

(3) 910g (2lb) apples, peeled, cored and chopped, 450g (1lb) kidney suet, 910g (2lb) dark brown sugar, 450g (1lb) each chopped raisins, sultanas and currants, 225g (½lb) candied peel finely chopped, 113g (¼lb) blanched almonds, 28g (1oz) mixed spice, brandy to moisten.

(4) 1.4kg (3lb) beef suet, 1.4kg (3lb) apples, peeled, cored and chopped, 1.8kg (4lb) currants, 450g (1lb) chopped raisins, 225g (½lb) dark brown sugar, 14g (½oz) each ground clove and cinnamon, 570ml (1 pint) brandy.

(5) 1.8kg (4lb) beef suet, 2.3kg (5lb) apples, peeled, cored and chopped, 1.8kg (4lb) mixed lemon, orange and citron peel finely chopped, 910g (2lb) dark brown sugar, 2tsp. nutmeg; other spices to personal taste, 285ml (½ pint) brandy.

(6) For immediate use. 113g (¼lb) each sultanas, currants and chopped raisins, 1tbs. fine chopped  dessert apple, 56g (2oz) candied peel, 56g (2oz) chopped glacé cherries, 1 banana, 84g (3oz) brown sugar, grated rind and juice 1 small lemon, 2tbs. sherry. (This does not keep.)

As you will see the ingredients are more or less the same, the difference lies mainly in the variations of the quantities used. Just one note – if time is not all that important, do use fresh suet from your butcher and grate or mince it yourself.

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Sweet thing