I don’t cook. Except mincemeat pie. And then only by request. Sharing the recipe is also at the request of a Facebook friend. Our mincemeat pie is more meat than mince. It’s for people who love a holiday flavor profile with their protein. It’s savory. Fruity. Beefy.

It’s not often I’m asked for a recipe. Usually people offer me recipes – until they realize I do. not. cook.

The easiest way to share how I make mincemeat is posting it here. If you’re a regular recipe user, I apologize for the lack of detail in my mincemeat recipe. I jotted notes when I made it this week. So, it’s just the way I did it this year.

Because there is no recipe. 

Every year it’s a little different. I did tests with types of beef and degrees of sweet/savory over the years. The result is pretty much what my family (and husband) prefer.

Just in case you decide to try this without reading all the way through – this makes at least THREE HUGE PIES. If you’re not feeding an army, you might want to cut it back.

Mincemeat Recipe 2017

  • 4-5 pounds trimmed bottom round beef roast (not a lot of fat)
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Beef stock
  • 1 large box golden raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup currants
  • Apricot brandy
  • 4 large apples
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 32 oz jar prepared mincemeat
  • 6 oz dried apricots
  • Lemon juice
  • Water

Day 1:

Put raisins and currants into shallow leak-proof container. Cover with apricot brandy. Soak 12-18 hours on one side. Flip container. Allow another 12-18 hours for fruit to soak up brandy. If any liquid remains, throw it into the pot with the fruit. 

Day 2:

Cut beef roast into chunks. Brown in hot oil in large cooking vessel. Maybe a huge stew pot or dutch oven. The entire process takes place in this cooking pot. (Very little washing up!) Brown all sides of chunked beef. (1x3x4 inch chunks)

Add salt and pepper. Add several tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.

When all beef is browned, add 2 cups (ish) beef stock. On low heat, simmer for a couple hours or until beef is falling apart. You want the meat almost covered in stock.

Stir occasionally.

Let cool.

Shred beef back into original pot. (This is my husband’s job. He’s a pro.)

Retain all liquid.

Same day or Day 3:

Warm meat over low heat. Add raisins, currant, and remaining liquid.

Add more salt and pepper.

More Worcestershire sauce. 

More beef stock.


Taste frequently. Adjust flavor as desired. If you want it sweeter add brown sugar or molasses.

If you want more savory, use less prepared mincemeat. Add enough salt.

Dice apples and dried apricots into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to pot.

Add orange juice and lemon juice.

Add mincemeat. 


Let the pot simmer on low for several hours. Keep some soupiness with stock or water. You need to be able to see liquid around the top edges, but not necessarily in the middle.


When everything is hydrated and flavors combined – it’s done!


Makes 3 large dinner-size pies. I use top and bottom crusts. Buy unbaked.

Vent top of pies and brush with egg wash.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

It’s good to put pie plates on a baking sheet for stability. These are HEAVY pies.

Or some for topping ice cream.

Or just to eat in a bowl.

I serve with sharp cheeses and sliced pears or green apples.

If you have leftover mincemeat, it freezes well.