Mince Pie

Pate de Noel

Ingredients

  • 3 Pounds of Cooked Lean Beef, Chopped Very Fine
  • A Pound of Beef or Mutton Suet
  • 4 Pounds of Apples, Pared and Chopped
  • 2 Pounds of Raisins, Seeded and Chopped
  • A Pound of Sultana Raisins, Picked and Washed
  • 2 Pounds of Currants, Picked and Washed
  • A Pound of Citron, Cut Very Fine
  • ½ Pound of Lemon Peel, Grated Very Fine
  • 2 Pounds of Brown Sugar
  • A Pound of Candied Lemon Peel (If Desired)
  • 2 Grated Nutmegs
  • A Tablespoonful Each of Ground Cloves and Allspice
  • 2 Tablespoonfuls Each of Ground Mace and Cinnamon
  • A Tablespoonful of Fine Salt
  • A Quart of Good Sherry, or Madeira
  • A Quart of the Best Brandy
  • The Juice of 2 Lemons
  • The Juice of 2 Oranges and the Rind, Grated Fine

Method

The meat should be good and lean, and should be boiled the day before needed, or early in the morning and allowed to cool. In boiling the Meat, plunge it into boiling (not cold) water, for the boiling water enables it to retain its juices. Boil steadily till tender. Then stand away to cool. Chop the Meat very fine, and clear away all gristle and skin. Shred the suet, and chop or, rather, mince it very, very fine. Then pare and core the apples, and chop very fine. Stone the raisins, and cut the citron fine. Many prefer to leave out the candied lemon. That is according to taste. The Mince Meat is heavier with it. The taste is much more delicate and the Pie much more digestible without. Grate the orange and lemon peel very fine. Then mix the Meat and suet together, chopping again, and add all the ingredients, mixing well together. Add the juices of the lemon and orange, and the grated rinds, and then mix all well again, and pack in a stone jar. Pour over this the quart of Brandy and the Wine, and cover very tightly, and set in a very cool place. Mince Meat made in this manner should keep all winter. The Creoles generally begin to make it, like their Fruit Cakes, just before Thanksgiving time, and set it away, having recourse to it for Christmas and New Year’s Pies, or whenever needed. When ready to use the Meat, dish out the quantity you desire, and thin to the desired consistency with good Sherry or Madeira Wine. Be very careful in picking the currants carefully, seeding out all grains of sand or dirt and pieces of twigs of trees. Wash them very, very carefully, in cold water, separating the good from the bad, and the great quantity of refuse that always lurks in bought currants.

The Creoles often use the fresh Beef Tongue or the Heart of the Beef, well chopped and boiled, in making this Mince Meat. The Filet of Beef is best. Mince Meat made in this manner need never cause dyspepsia. If the housekeeper is careful in using it, and in properly keeping it, it need not be made more than once or twice during the winter. It should be made at least twenty-four hours before using.

To make the Pies, line the bottom of the pie pans with the Pie Crust, bake the bottom layer, and then fill with the Mince Meat. Cover the Pies with a thin Crust, or leave open, if preferred, bake till a nice, delicate brown, sprinkle lightly with white sugar, and serve hot. Mince Pies kept from day to day should be warmed over before serving.

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