Vegetarian Mincemeat

In Brief

Prep Time : 20 minutes

Cooking Time : 1000 minutes

Serves : 10

I’ve been looking forward to writing this recipe for a few weeks now. November signals the beginning of christmas for us chefs. It’s a far nicer way to be reminded that Christmas is coming, rather than the usual Christmas pop songs that we just can’t get away from at this time of year!

Mince pies are a big weakness of mine over the Christmas period. I always tell the story of when I worked in a restaurant in West Wales. The head chef used to feed me two boxes of mince pies a day to fatten me up. He thought it was hilarious. I, on the other hand, grabbed the opportunity with both hands – and my mouth – and had mince pies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What I couldn’t eat I would freeze for January!!! Yes, ok, I did put on a few extra pounds but my tastebuds were more than satisfied ’til next year.

I have used all the best ingredients I can get my hands on to make this mince from my own homegrown apples to a 15-year-old brandy. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of candied peel. Occasionally, I have a mince pie and there’s loads in it. It really doesn’t give me the same pleasure as pies without peel so, in my recipe, this ingredient is omitted, but if you do want to add it then I highly recommend making your own as its miles better than any shop bought stuff!

Hope you enjoy and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Shopping List

  • Cooking apples: 250g
  • Vegetarian Suet: 100g
  • Raisins: 200g
  • Sultanas: 100g
  • Currants: 100g
  • Dark Sugar: 200g
  • Orange: Zest and Juice
  • Lemon: Zest and Juice
  • Chopped almonds: 25g
  • Cinnamon: 1/4 tsp
  • Mixed Spice 2 tsp Nutmeg: Pinch
  • Brandy: 3 tbsp

Cooking Instructions


1. Firstly, gather and weigh out all your ingredients. Zest and juice your fruit; this makes life a lot easier when it comes to putting it all together.

2. Core your apples and grate them, putting them in a big mixing bowl.

3. Add the dried fruit, spices, sugar, apples, nuts, juice, zest and vegetable suet.

4. Mix thoroughly and cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.

5. The next day pop the mixture into the oven at 120 celsius and leave for 3 hours. The suet will produce a layer of oil on top of the mix but this is normal.

6. Take the bowl out of the oven and, as it cools, stir it every so often so that the fat coats all the ingredients – this will help to preserve the mince.

7. Once the mix is cool, add your brandy – one for me and one for you! Then, if you’re not too tipsy, transfer into sterilised jars.

8. Last but not least, tell your friends how amazing you are that you’ve made your own mincemeat for Xmas; ┬ádon’t tell too many people, though, or they will all be knocking on your door to get some off you!