Traditional mincemeat

Traditional mincemeat

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(26 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


  • 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…

  • 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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Karen Hopkins's picture
Karen Hopkins
1st Jan, 2020
Brilliant!! I will never have palm oil ridden mass produced mincemeat in my house again!! This was so tasty and I knew exactly what was in it! I did put a little extra brandy in and let it soak for a couple of days, worked a treat.
Angela Grey's picture
Angela Grey
5th Dec, 2019
Why did I make this. Looks almost like solid suet. Not sure I can use it. Should have gone with Delia.
27th Nov, 2019
I make this every year, sometimes with brandy, sometimes with orange or apple juice. It's delicious. I always use vegetable suet.
2nd Feb, 2019
I did read the comments first and felt a little worried, lots of comments about the amount of suet. Well I only had 200g in store so that’s what I used. Made enough for 48 deep pies and it was delicious. I did add a splash more alcohol but then I always do.
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.


7th Mar, 2019
Do you need to seal the preserving jars by boiling the full jars in water to create an airtight vacuum seal like you would with jams or do you just place the lid on the clean jar normally and it will then keep for up to 6 months? Damian
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. If you have pre-sterilised the jars and then store the mincemeat in the fridge, it will keep for up to 6 months.
Beatriz Michelle's picture
Beatriz Michelle
1st Dec, 2018
Simmer or not simmer. That is the question! :) Hello, I have just seen this very same recipe in YouTube but there is 10 minutes simmering before storing. Shall I simmer it or not? Will the result differ very much? Both ways seem quite feasible to me. Thank you in advance.
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. There's no need to simmer this recipe - it gives great results as is.
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. 
Jay Kay's picture
Jay Kay
26th Dec, 2018
You can buy suet from any good butcher/charcutier who processes whole carcasses, @Janet Baudevin. Ask for a single large piece of the hard fat from around the kidneys of a cow. It is hard and quite a different consistency to other fat. Only buy fresh fat within 24 hours of slaughter. It should be a creamy white colour and smell wholesome. Avoid anything that looks yellow, greasy or smells rancid! Chill first, then grate (shred) it after scraping off any blood. Remove the translucent "skin" fibers as you grate. Any left-over fat can be rendered slowly in the oven to make dripping. Suet is usually (traditionally) beef, not lamb or pork, etc. I hope this helps! :)


Karen Hopkins's picture
Karen Hopkins
1st Jan, 2020
I used beef suet which has no smell or taste! FYI most vegetable suets contains palm oil!
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?
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