I try to make mincemeat in the middle of November. That gives it time to do its thing for a month or so before it’s needed.
This year…somehow didn’t happen, which is why I’m making it now, less than a week before Christmas.
Browsing the web for spice ratios, I came across a recipe for “traditional” mincemeat – with meat in, not just dried fruit.
I’d already soaked the currants and grated the apples and squeezed a million oranges and lemons (i.e. all the prep work) for my own recipe so I decided to split the mixture three ways – with meat, without meat, without brandy – and go from there, in this case directly to a shop willing to sell me Christmas biscuits and steak at 9pm. 😉
The recipe called for approximately ⅔ fruit to ⅓ beef or lamb. The preminced beef in the supermarket was mixed half-and-half with pork. I looked for steak instead. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to proper cuts of meat so I bought 700g (total) of three different cuts of beef. Two posh Irish steaks from the deli and two reduced-price Brazilian steaks from the prepackaged fridge section. When I got them home and opened them, one of the Brazilian ones smelled really bad so I abandoned it. That brought the ratio down to 4/5 fruit to 1/5 meat, but I figure it’s still way more than usual and I’m not following any other part of the recipe so whatever.
I left the uncut steaks to marinate in the almost-mincemeat overnight.
This morning, when I came to chop them up, they fell apart. Especially the remaining Brazilian piece. The poshest one was the only one I had any chance of cutting into cubes.
A kitchen full of the smell of lemon peel and simmering mincemeat is a pretty good thing :).
Spot the meat mix:
I think it’s bizarre how different the mixtures are turning out.
Looking forward to testing how they taste in pies…