Traditional mincemeat

Traditional mincemeat

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Plus soaking


Makes about 2kg (4 x 500ml jars)
Try making your mincemeat well in advance of Christmas to give the flavours maximum time to mature

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal70
  • fat3g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0.01g
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  • 250g raisin
  • 375g currant
  • 100ml brandy



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • zest of 1 lemon, juice of ½



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 300g shredded suet
  • 250g dark brown sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 85g chopped mixed peel
  • ½ small nutmeg, grated



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 1 large Bramley apple, peeled and grated
    Bramley apples

    Bramley apple

    bram-lee app-el

    A large, flattish cooking apple, green in appearance but sometimes with specks of red. The flesh…


  1. Soak the raisins and currants in the brandy and lemon juice for 1 hr until plumped up, then drain and set the brandy aside. Mix all the ingredients together in the order given, then pour in the brandy when everything else is well mixed. Spoon and press into sterilised jars, to exclude any air (the easiest way to sterilise jars is to run them through a dishwasher on its hottest setting). Cover and leave for at least a fortnight. Will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Frances Lumb's picture
Frances Lumb
18th Nov, 2018
I made this recipe last year and have just made a batch for this year. Many of my friends and family love it. I make a batch with brandy and a batch with Orange juice.
Jean White's picture
Jean White
3rd Nov, 2018
Last year I made this and found the suet made it too greasy so this year I’ve added more fruit to about 1 1/2 times more than stated and I have used vegetable suet instead of animal suet. I have also used a batch with sherry instead of brandy.
3rd Dec, 2017
I always assume that recipes on BBC website are good if they have a high star rating. I made this today as per the recipe and then only afterwards saw the negative reviews. There is far too much fat in this recipe - take a look at the Atora luxury mincemeat recipe - 175g of suet to 1.6kg of mixed fruit and then extra fruit and nuts on top - what a different ratio! I have tipped mine out and added what extras I had but still much fattier than Atora recipe. Am hoping it will be ok.
29th Aug, 2017
This recipe makes amazing mincemeat. The amount of suet is perfect and melts down to make excellent moist mince pies. This recipe makes enough to fill 3 0.5l Kilner jars
17th Dec, 2016
Seems strange how negative comments won't appear on this feed.
17th Dec, 2016
Highly recommend this recipe if you enjoy the taste of beef fat! I managed to make it taste lovely eventually by doubling up all the ingredients bar the suet.
17th Dec, 2016
I think my comments are being deleted because this recipe is the most disgusting thing I have ever made, and the BBC are clearly doing what they know best- a cover up!!
17th Dec, 2016
Would recommend using less than half the suet- or better still find another recipe! This recipe made my mince pies tasted like beef fat with a few berries mixed in. One sure fire way to revolt the family! Have just signed up to Good Food purely to warn you all!!
13th Nov, 2016
Lovely recipe. I accidentally bought too little suet but I actually think this is an improvement. 200g instead of 300g.
15th Nov, 2015
Ab FAB!!! I have made this without sugar (hubby is type 2 diabetic) and used a little Stevia instead. Also used my own mixed peel (lemon and orange). It was fantastic - must admit I was a little sceptical about the suet amount (it did seem too much) but it was perfect and I now have another good few jars ready for much loved mince pies this Christmas!! Hubby is over the moon - mince pies and no sugar peaks!!


9th Dec, 2016
Hi, do I need to store this mincemeat in the fridge? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Dec, 2016
Yes, we wouldn suggest keeping it in the fridge if you are planning to store it for 6 months.
29th Aug, 2015
Making this for the first time and unsure whether to use suet or not. I may do a batch with and a batch without or a mixture of both. If replacing suet with butter do I use the same quantity of butter as suet? Thanks in advance.
Janet Baudevin
13th Nov, 2014
I live in France and can't get Suet for puddings. Does anyone know of a substitute ingredient please?
goodfoodteam's picture
26th Nov, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. Use grated frozen butter, lard or vegetable shortening instead. 
26th Nov, 2014
You don't need suet. Apologies to James Martin but I always use Mary Berry's recipe with a little tweak here & there - butter in place of suet.
12th Nov, 2014
How many standard mince pies will this make? (I don't want to be short)!
17th Nov, 2013
I Googled this recipe because I've always wanted to try mincemeat. At the risk of being completely ignorant I have never made or tasted it before and just assumed it had meat in it. It doesn't usually have some sort of meat in it?
7th Oct, 2017
Mincemeat originally was made with a mix of meat and fruit, but over time, the meat was left out - the suet is the only meat-related item that remains in traditional mincemeat.
10th Nov, 2013
Does the first 2 weeks need to be left on the side or in the fridge ?


17th Dec, 2016
Use an alternative recipe.
17th Dec, 2016
Would recommend using less than half the suet- or better still find another recipe! This recipe made my mince pies tasted like beef fat with a few berries mixed in. One sure fire way to revolt the family! Have just signed up to Good Food purely to warn you all!!
17th Dec, 2016
This recipe uses waaaaay too much suet. My mince pies tasted of beef fat- one sure fire way to revolt the family!! Would recommend using less than half that stated in the recipe- or find a different recipe! This was probably the most disgusting thing I have ever made. Have just signed up to Good Food purely to warn you all!!
31st Dec, 2014
Leave the suet out! You can replace it with butter or sunflower seed oil if you want to, but this is not necessary. Personally, I just leave the suet out and replace it with extra fruit. Can anyone suggest what the suet is supposed to do in mincemeat except add bulk?