Cooking With G… by Janie Goldman

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Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 19 Nov 15 - 0 Comments

Greetings fellow culinary enthusiasts! With the holidays approaching, I thumbed through the Port O’ Connor Community Service Club cookbook to help answer a nagging question: “What is mincemeat pie?” We always had it for holiday dinners at my grandparent’s house and it set on the buffet alongside the other traditional pies. Unlike the pumpkin and pecan pie, that were quickly reduced to crumbs, the mincemeat pie sat all day reduced by only a single slice. I remember feeling sorry for the pie as I stared at the strange mess that pooled between the cuts. Someone must have taken the single slice in an effort to make its creator feel better, I thought. Unfortunately, thumbing through the cookbook did not answer my ages old question. The cookbook contributors must have recognized the pie’s unpopularity. So I was left to my own devices. I bought a 70s something, holiday cookbook that includes several recipes for mincemeat pie. Oddly enough, to my surprise, it does include meat. Stay with me, because I convinced myself that it wouldn’t be too bad served warm as opposed to a room temperature dessert.


Mincemeat pie is a combination of a meat, spices and fruit. Mix 4 chopped apples, a half-pound of currants and 1 pound of raisins and chop together. Add 1 and a half-pounds of brown sugar, 1 quart of cider, and 1 cup of meat stock. Cook the mixture on the stove top for about 5 minutes and then add 1 and a half-pounds of fatty ground beef and season with salt, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Simmer for 1 hour. Stir frequently. After simmering, add 5 tablespoons of lemon juice. Let the mixture cool and then pour over the bottom of an unbaked pie shell. Top with an additional unbaked pie shell and bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

I can’t claim that the mincemeat pie was a hit at my house. Fact is my husband, who is brutally honest when it comes to the food I prepare, said it was a waste of perfectly good ground meat. But, with every culinary experience comes a lesson. I now understand what mincemeat pie is and why it was left practically uneaten at holiday gatherings. It is also clear to me why a recipe for mincemeat pie was left out of the Service Club cookbook. Perhaps it is an acquired taste that I have not and probably will not develop. As for you, give it a try. It might be a hit at your family’s holiday dinner and if not at least it will give the kids something to stare at and ponder. These are the things that add to holiday memories. Enjoy!

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