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
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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…

  • 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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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!!
28th Oct, 2015
Love this recipe. Have replaced Suet with goose grease and only use half the amount stated. Turned out really well last year. Just made another batch and can't wait to make mince pies.
30th May, 2015
This truly is a wonderful mincemeat and definitely lasts in the fridge, the flavour is intense and delicious. I've made these two years in a row now and use lots of cranberries in mine instead of the raisins, pecans work well in it too!
11th Dec, 2014
Made quite a lot of this about 3 weeks ago and just tasted it - very disappointed - left a 'furry' feeling in the mouth (all the suet maybe?) And had an 'earthy' taste - followed recipe exactly but won't be making again - can't believe the mostly rave reviews
12th Nov, 2018
It does seem odd to me that a lot of people give the recipe 5 stars but then say they halve the fat - if the recipe isn't right as it is, surely it doesn't deserve 5 stars!
17th Dec, 2016
I've tried to post about 4 times to warn people off using this revolting recipe, but my comments are immediately deleted... makes you think!
28th Oct, 2015
If you don't sterilize your jars, this can happen. I had test when making jam for the first time....


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?
Jay Kay's picture
Jay Kay
26th Dec, 2018
No meat at all in this British "mincemeat"! There used to be several centuries ago, but not these days. The amount of fruit increased as this pastry filling became sweeter and sweeter. Now it is all fruit, with a little residual "meat" in the form of animal fat. Even that can be replaced by butter or plant fat, so mincemeat can be 100% vegetarian or vegan. Do try it and ignore all the negative comments about fat content. It is necessary to save the fruit dehydrating and sugar burning during baking, especially if making mince pies without a sealed top.
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 ?
Janet Baudevin
13th Nov, 2014
No, it will keep perfectly without being in the fridge. In fact keeping it in the fridge may cause it to crystalize, so it's better at room temperature.


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