Where’s the Meat in Mincemeat Pies

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Via Twitter:

what exactly is mince meat pie? it isn’t meat, i know that much, but [what] is it?


*Updated December 2022*

Dear Concerned:

The gag factor seems to be running high here on Home Ec 101 today.

Lisa here — I love mince pies. In fact, I order them for delivery every December as a special Christmas treat (along with marzipan fruits and British Christmas cake.)

Mincemeat is nothing more than a mixture of fruit, nuts, spices, and suet or vegetable shortening. Older recipes used to include meat, which is omitted in most modern versions. It was typically served as a course following the main course to prepare a dinner for the sweetness of the dessert. Today it is served mostly out of tradition. I’ll pass, thank you.

(They also have a healthy glug of Brandy included in the recipe. ~Lisa)

mincemeat pies

Heather may want to pass on mince pies, but this rich, sticky, sweet filling wrapped in a shortcrust pastry is the perfect morsel that, for me, says it’s the holiday season and time for me to kick back and enjoy myself just a little bit.

I can hear the questions you’re asking. “Lisa, if they are so tasty, how do you eat them?” Well, I think they are delicious served hot or cold. Eat them plain or as I do with brandy butter. Some folks like them with double cream, but since we can’t get that here in the states, you can make whipped cream or serve them with really good vanilla ice cream.

They also keep well. I’ve been known to freeze a few for a festive Christmas in July when the summer sun is beating me senseless and I’m over the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes.

If you’re buying mince pies, check the ingredients. The filling typically uses suet, which is animal fat. If you’re a vegetarian, look for alternative fats in the ingredients list, such as butter or shortening.

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2 thoughts on “Where’s the Meat in Mincemeat Pies”

  1. I forget what suet is, but I’m not sure I want to be reminded.
    I pride myself on being an open-minded, adventurous eater, but I HATE mincemeat. ick. (not so polite as Heather, I know)


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