Mince Meat

Here’s an email conversation between my mom and her aunt Iwanna, regarding my great-grandmother’s famous mince meat pie recipe. To this day, Mamma’s mince meat is my favorite desert, but nobody seems to be willing to make it for me!

From: “mom”

Subject: mince meat

To: “Iwanna”

Date: Wednesday, December 16

I remember you saying once you made Mamma’s mincemeat using pork roast [which is good since I since I don’t want to tackle a hogs head]. Would you share that with me, please. And include any necessary information as to how to can things since I’ve never canned anything.



From: “Iwanna”

Date: Wed, Dec 16

Subject: Re: mince meat

To: “mom”

This is the original recipe mother and I used back in the 40’s and 50’s.

In the 40’s we used the huge black cast iron pot and cooked it outside over a fire.

I helped with the stirring. In the 50’s Mother used the pressure cooker to cook the pork and cooked the fruit in a roast pan in the oven. I make half the recipe and cook it in my 18 qt. electric roaster.

Mince Meat

  • 2 hog heads I made half the recipe in 2007 and used an 8.5 lb pork roast and 4 pig feet. The feet are needed to make it jell. I found them at Homeland.
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 lb. raisins
  • 2 lb. dried apricots
  • 3 lb. dried peaches
  • 3 lb. dried apples If you can’t find these, a gallon of applesauce will work
  • 2 qt. sorghum
  • 1 qt. vinegar
  • 15 lb. sugar (may need more)
  • 1-3.5 ounce can each of
    • Cinnamon
    • Nutmeg
    • Cloves
    • Allspice
    • Ginger

Cook pork in enough liquid to cover until it is easily pulled apart.

Pull off the bone and grind. Salt to taste.

Save the liquid from cooking pork, skim off excess fat, and use it to cook the fruit.

Grind the fruit and cook in enough of the liquid for it to appear little thicker than applesauce, the dried fruit will absorb a great deal of the liquid. Add all the other ingredients to the cooking fruit.

If it is too thin it needs cook a little longer to evaporate some of the liquid. It needs to be thick.

Taste for salt and sweetness as you go.

If you make the full recipe you will need to mix in a small tub. Bring to a boil and fill jars while hot. You do not have to use the pressure cooker or a hot water bath for the finished product. It has enough vinegar.

Makes 35 or so quarts. My half recipe made 18 qts.


Wash and sterilize jars, rings and lids in hot water. (I wash mine in the dishwasher, it’s faster). Fill hot jars with hot mince meat, wipe the top of the jar if anything is on it. Screw on the cap and turn upside down and place on the counter free from drafts and cover with a towel or a few dish towels. When you hear the ‘pop’ you know it is sealed. If the lid doesn’t pop check to see if the lid has an indention. Turn right side up when they have cooled. Fill and cap only a couple of jars at a time, so they won’t cool too quickly.

When you hear the ‘pop’ you know it is sealed. If the lid doesn’t pop check to see if the lid has an indention. If not, heat and try again.

One quart makes two pies. If you want to make only 1 pie, can in pint jars.

Bake like any other 2 crust pie.

I cook my roast and feet overnight and start on the other ingredients the next morning. This will take most of the day, so don’t plan too much for the rest of the day.

Good Luck!

Merry Christmas


Good Luck is right!

Author: KB French

Formerly many things, including theology student, mime, jr. high Latin teacher, and Army logistics officer. Currently in the National Guard, and employed as a civilian... somewhere

4 thoughts on “Mince Meat”

  1. Dang! What would a person do with nearly 9 gallons of mince meat?!

    I do happen to like mince meat pie, though my tastes are probably off since I’m used to the store bought stuff. Still, 9 gallons…


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