Old-fashioned, do-it-from-scratch cooking has not disappeared in this conveni-ence-food era. This recipe for making your own mincemeat proved surprisingly popular.
2 pounds boneless beef stew meat,
1 pound beef suet, membrane removed
1 pound mixed candied fruit peel
3 pounds apples, pared, cored, and finely chopped
2 pounds light brown sugar
4 cups cider
1 tablespoon each salt, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves
2 tablespoons cinnamon 1/2 cups light molasses
3 packages (11 oz. each) currants
1 pound each seedless raisins and golden raisins
2 cups brandy (optional)
Cover meat with water and bring to a boil; cook until tender and almost dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool the meat; put it through a food chopper, using the medium blade. (You should have about
1/2 cups of ground, cooked meat.) Put suet and candied fruit peel through the chopper. Mix with meat, and blend in apples.
Dissolve sugar in cider in large (8 to 10-quart) pan; bring to a boil. Carefully add the meat mixture to syrup and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about
5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt, spices, molasses, currants, and raisins, mixing thoroughly. Blend in the brandy. Cool to room temperature; freeze mincemeat in quart containers. Makes 6 quarts mincemeat.
Mincemeat Pie. Prepare pastry for a 2-crust, 9-inch pie. Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie pan. Fill with 1 quart (4 cups) mincemeat. Roll remaining pastry to a rectangle; cut into 1-inch strips. Alternate pastry strips to make a lattice; seal lattice strips to lower pastry, and flute the edge. Bake in a 425° oven for 35 minutes or until nicely browned.