Cooking for Daily Living
Pies
About Mince Meat

The oven is the best place to simmer mince meat. If you’ve never made mince meat, don’t let it throw you. It need not be expensive, and it’s a hard product to ruin unless you let it scorch.

My own Granny brought the concoction into the family from Kentucky when she came north to marry a Montana rancher. Her “receet” would be well over one-hundred-years-old. The title, she declared, meant what it said, a few essential items minced together with any other compatible ingredients needing to be preserved. Mince meat takes kindly to ground ripe or green tomatoes, cooked, ground carrots, canned fruits and even jellies that the family might otherwise not care for. I’ve taken my tack from her, and even the dog and cat leave home when I begin getting ready to make mince meat!

If you have wild meat you’re lucky. Use the neck, lower leg, or any piece that isn’t top notch for cooking. Wash, boil, cool and grind it.

All the cooked and ground ingredients may be prepared and frozen, to be thawed when needed. Likewise, the raw chopped suet, apples, oranges and lemons. Otherwise, ready all these ingredients the day before the final cooking. Buy ground suet unless you have your own, however, omit suet in ease of a low cholesterol dieter and dot the pie with polyunsaturated margarine before adding the top crust.

Granny was adamant about two things: peel and chop the apples. Grinding mashes them too much. Also, don’t add apples or suet ‘til mince meat is ready to leave the stove. The vinegar, sugar and spices will prevent spoilage.

While mince is cooking, wash about half a dozen fruit jars if you wish to keep it into the summer. Otherwise, it will keep a long time in a cool place in a crock or covered bowl.