Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

meal ideas ~ Winterval Solstice Mincemeat

next Wednesday is the Winter Solstice- want a different way to celebrate this winterval holiday season... try making this earthly pie I adore.

Homemade Mincemeat

As a child my grandmother would start making her jars of mincemeat, for the holidays, in July at a time when we would visit them in Nebraska. I didn’t care for the taste as a child but grew to love it as an adult. The REAL kind, not this fake fruity stuff you find in jars at the grocery. My favorite memory was one summer when the gigantic crock was sitting on the counter, mincemeat inside curing,  I would occasionally catch the male adults as they passed by add additional splash of brandy or rum to the pot. I remember my grandpa taking a swig then added some to the pot and when he saw me he winked and put his finger to his lips—our little secret. I then understood what the true value of mincemeat was-ha! In Europe using venison or elk is tradition for this holiday pie, and since my father was a hunter he usually furnished the meat. If you cannot find the game meat, beef works just as well. 

Here is the recipe Steve and I have used. It doesn't take months to cure, but is as tasty as my childhood days.

Ingredients:

1 pounds venison, elk, or beef chunks
Water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
1/2 large bay leaf
1/4 pound suet, finely chopped*
1 1/2 quarts apple cider
1 cups beef broth
1 1/2 pounds apples, chopped
1 1/2 pounds raisins (dark and golden)
1 pound currants
1/4 pound citron
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon ground allspice
1/2 firmly-packed cup brown sugar
1 cup rum or Applejack brandy
* 1/8 pound butter may be substituted suet is best but difficult to find.

 Preparation:

Trim fat from meat of your choice.

     In a large heavy pan over medium heat, place meat; cover with water. Add cider vinegar, whole cloves, allspice, and bay leaf. Simmer approximately 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falls apart. Remove from heat and refrigerate meat in cooking liquid overnight.

      Remove from refrigerator and remove meat from liquid. Remove all fat from top of liquid; discarding the liquid. Separate meat from bones, discard bones. Chop cooked meat into small cubes.

     In a large pot, combine meat cubes, suet, apple cider, beef broth, apples, raisins, currants, citron, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and brown sugar. 

Over medium heat, let mixture come just to a low boil; reduce heat to low and let simmer until the apples are cooked. Remove from heat and add rum or Applejack brandy and mix together.

Variation: For a wonderful flavor boost, zest and juice 1 to 2 lemons and 1 orange. Add to mince before bringing to a boil.

Refrigerate or pack in hot sterile jars and seal. May also be stored in the freezer.

Put in a two-crust pastry- using the lattice method or full cover with slits for escaping steam

Bake pie approximately 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

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