Cooking, Food

Mincemeat

I am trying to help a friend out with a request for good old-fashioned mincemeat that tastes good. The following are images from my Great-Grandmother Ella Vanderburg’s Grange Cookbook. I need to ask my grandmother and great-aunt if one of them is her recipe. I have fond memories of her feeding me spoonfuls of elk mincemeat in the kitchen, when they were living on the North Fork of the Siuslaw. I was maybe 6? So over thirty years ago, and that taste is still vivid, rich and sweet in my mouth.

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Just for perspective :)
Just for perspective 🙂

0 thoughts on “Mincemeat

  1. Sorry you lost me with the name. Just sounds weird. Of course I am the guy who wouldn’t eat cheesecake until my mid twenties just because the name made me queasy.

  2. Joe, you really should try mincemeat! It’s one of those things that most people either love or hate, because it’s not mild-flavored. It has a very rich fruit flavor, both tart and sweet. Not all mincemeat actually has meat in it, for instance the green tomato recipe. I happen to like that one really well.

    My suspicion is that mincemeat recipes were originally developed as a way to preserve both meat and fruits/vegetables for winter eating.

    Cedar, I’ve got a car-full of (mostly) Gravenstein apples to turn into applesauce before they spoil (most of them were windfalls and are in pretty bad condition, but I’m going to save as much as I can because I haven’t had the old-fashioned kind of Gravensteins since I was in high school). When I’m done with the applesauce I’ll try to find Great-Grandma Ella’s mincemeat recipe for you, but it’s probably pretty similar to one of the ones in the Grange cookbook.

  3. Cedar, several of the recipes in the Grange cookbook are very similar to the one your great grandmother had. She didn’t get it from a cookbook, but from her German mother-in-law, Emma Karnowsky Vanderburg, who got it from her mother (do you want her full name? : Well, I can’t find it right now). Emma was quite young when she came with her family to the Siuslaw River area, in western Oregon, in the 1800s. Emma’s mother probably got the recipe from her mother, and so on.

    The original recipe called for suet, as do some in the Grange cookbook. We eliminated the suet because of the extra fat, and the pie had to be served hot, or at least very warm.

    Here’s the Vanderburg recipe (minus the suet):

    MINCEMEAT
    1 quart cooked meat, chopped
    2 pounds seedless raisins
    1 pound mixed candied fruit; or 1/2 pound candied citron and 1/4 pound each of candied lemon and orange peel
    4 cups sugar
    1 tablespoon each of ground cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg;and 2 teaspoons ground cloves
    3 fresh oranges and 3 lemons, chopped fine or put through meat grinder (Including rinds)
    1 quart apple juice or cider
    1 cup vinegar
    4 quarts chopped apples

    Simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, until ingredients are cooked and mincemeat is thickened. I like to cook it in a roaster pan in the oven–less chance of scorching.

    One way I like to use mincemeat is as a filling for sugar cookies. Roll out dough fairly thin, put a small amount of mincemeat on half of the rounds; put another round on top, and crimp around the edges.

    I used a 3-inch biscuit cutter for the bottom rounds, and a 3-inch doughnut cutter for the tops, which left a round cutout on top. For a festive touch, I put a red maraschino cherry in the cut out area of the top.

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