Real old-fashioned mincemeat recipes from the late Victorian era (1890s)

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A real old-fashioned mincemeat recipe
The first of these four mincemeat recipes comes from the wife of John A Logan, who, among many other accomplishments of note, was a general in the Union Army during the Civil War, and an Illinois congressman and senator. He is also considered to have been key in making Memorial Day an official US holiday. This remarkable lady was named Mary Simmerson Cunningham Logan.

The other three mincemeat recipes are from the 1896 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. One of the authors of that volume was another talented woman — Fannie Farmer.

A real old-fashioned mincemeat recipe

Mrs Logan’s mincemeat recipe

Mrs John A Logan… has one of the finest houses at the capital, and there is no kitchen managed better than hers.

It is from her that I get my recipe for Thanksgiving mincemeat, and this is the way she makes it:

Two pounds of beef chopped fine after being cooked, two pounds of suet chopped fine, four pounds of raisins, four pounds of apples, eight oranges, the peel of half a pound of citron — all chopped fine. One ounce of cinnamon, one of allspice, one of nutmeg, and two pounds of brown sugar.

There is nothing nicer than the salad as a Thanksgiving entree, and Mrs Logan has given me the following directions as to the dressing of the salad dish.

Take the white inside leaves of a cabbage and make a border, not allowing the leaves to fall too far over the sides of the dish, or make a border of curled lettuce. Then place the salad inside, smoothing it nicely.

Slice four small cucumber pickles lengthwise, which will make eight pieces. Pass each piece through a white ring of a hard-boiled egg and place them here and there — or you can place all the ends together in the center of the dish, allowing the other ends to diverge. This will form a kind of a flower. It will look prettier if a small round slice of jelly is placed where the ends meet.


Mrs John A Logan

Old-fashioned mincemeat recipes: Mince pie meat

Mince pies should be always baked with two crusts. For Thanksgiving and Christmas pies, puff paste is often used for rims and upper crusts.

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4 pounds lean beef
2 pounds beef suet
Baldwin apples
3 quinces
3 pounds sugar
2 cups molasses
2 quarts cider
4 pounds raisins, seeded and cut in pieces
3 pounds currants
1/2 pound finely cut citron
1 quart cooking brandy
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon mace
1 tablespoon powdered cloves
2 grated nutmegs
1 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Cover meat and suet with boiling water and cook until tender, cool in water in which they were cooked; the suet will rise to top, forming a cake of fat, which may be easily removed.

Finely chop meat, and add it to twice the amount of finely chopped apples. The apples should be quartered, cored, and pared, previous to chopping, or skins may be left on, which is not an objection if apples are finely chopped.

Add quinces finely chopped, sugar, molasses, cider, raisins, currants, and citron; also suet, and stock in which meat and suet were cooked, reduced to one and one-half cups. Heat gradually, stir occasionally, and cook slowly two hours; then add brandy and spices.

Old-fashioned mincemeat recipes: English mincemeat

5 pounds raisins, seeded, finely-chopped
5 pounds suet, finely-chopped
5 pounds apples, finely-chopped
4 pounds citron, finely-chopped
1-1/2 pounds blanched almonds, finely-chopped
5 pounds currants
5 pounds light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2-1/2 cups brandy

Cook raisins, suet, apples, citron, currants, and sugar slowly for one and one-half hours; then add almonds, spices and brandy.

Old-fashioned mincemeat recipes: Mince made wwithout liquor (alcohol)

Mix together one cup chopped apple, one-half cup raisins seeded and chopped, one-half cap currants, one-fourth cup butter, one tablespoon molasses, one tablespoon boiled cider, one cup sugar, one teaspoon cinnamon, one-half teaspoon cloves, one-half nutmeg grated, one salt-spoon of mace, and one teaspoon salt.

Add enough stock in which meat was cooked to moisten; heat gradually to boiling point and simmer one hour; then add one cup chopped meat and two tablespoons barberry jelly. Cook fifteen minutes.

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