Plan ahead now and you’ll have the perfect batch of rich, matured mincemeat in time for December- if you can keep your hands off it for that long!
This recipe comes to us courtesy of Deri Reed a.k.a Cardiff’s Ethical Chef. He says, “I use all the best ingredients I can get my hands on to make this mincemeat, from my own homegrown apples to a 15 year-old brandy. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of candied peel. Occasionally, I have a mince pie and there’s loads in it. It really doesn’t give me the same pleasure as pies without peel so, in my recipe, this ingredient is omitted, but if you do want to add it then I highly recommend making your own.”
1 Firstly, gather and weigh out all your ingredients. Zest and juice your fruit; this makes life a lot easier when it comes to putting it all together.
2 Core your apples and grate them, putting them in a big mixing bowl.
3 Add the dried fruit, spices, sugar, apples, nuts, juice, zest and vegetable suet.
4 Mix thoroughly and cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.
5 The next day pop the mixture into the oven at 120ºc and leave for 3 hours. The suet will produce a layer of oil on top of the mix but this is normal.
6 Take the bowl out of the oven and, as it cools, stir it every so often so that the fat coats all the ingredients – this will help to preserve the mince.
7 Once the mix is cool, add your brandy – one for me and one for you! Then, if you’re not too tipsy, transfer into sterilised jars.
8 Last but not least, tell your friends how amazing you are that you’ve made your own mincemeat for Christmas; don’t tell too many people, though, or they will all be knocking on your door to get some off you!