Grandma Myer’s Homemade Mincemeat Recipe

This is the truly old-fashion type of homemade mincemeat that is actually made with meat in it.  This is my grandmother’s recipe for mincemeat.  My mother always made this homemade mincemeat every Christmas.  This is my favorite holiday mincemeat to use in our homemade mincemeat pie.  During the Depression in the 1930s, my grandfather used to call venison “land salmon” because the deer that he killed were out of season.  He hunted deer all year long to feed his family.  My mother said that he always shared it with their neighbors.


Learn more about mincemeat and check out another Mincemeat Pie Recipe.


Homemade Mincemeat


Grandma Myer's Homemade Mincemeat Recipe:
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Keyword: Grandma Myer's Homemade Mincemeat Recipe
  • 4 pounds venison, elk, or beef
  • Water
  • 2 1/2 cups suet, finely chopped or grated*
  • 7 1/2 cups tart apples, chopped
  • 3 cups liquid (from meat of your choice it was cooked in)
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 cups raisins
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tablespoon cloves, ground
  • 2 tablespoons allspice, ground
  • 2 tablespoons nutmeg, ground
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 cup brandy or sherry
  1. Trim fat from meat of your choice and discard.

  2. In a large heavy pan over medium heat, place meat; cover with water and simmer until the meat is tender.  Remove from heat and refrigerate meat in the cooking liquid overnight.

  3. Remove from refrigerator and remove meat from liquid. Remove all fat from top of liquid; discard the fat and reserve the remaining liquid.  Separate meat from bones, discard bones.  Chop cooked meat into small cubes.

  4. In a large pot, combine meat cubes, suet, apples, reserved liquid, sugar, apple cider, molasses, cider vinegar, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, lemon juice, and orange juice; simmer for 2 hours. remove from heat.  Add brandy or sherry and mix together.

  5. It’s best to let mincemeat stand at least a couple of weeks before using.  I store mine in the refrigerator.  Freeze in air-tight containers for longer storage.

Recipe Notes

*  Suet is a solid while animal fat. The best Suet comes from the fat that grows around the kidneys in cows and sheep. You can purchase packages of suet from your local butcher or from the meat department of your local grocery store.  It then needs to be coarsely grated to make it ready to use. It also must be kept refrigerated prior to use and used within a few days of purchase, just like meat.  You can also substite lard, shortening, butter, or bacon fat.


Comments from Readers:

When I researched origins of mincemeat, your site come up and my heart started to beat faster as I read the recipe.  My recipe comes from MY grandmother Myers’ mother (I believe) and it is so similar to yours.  I couldn’t help wonder if there was a family connection.

My recipe has everything yours has with the addition of spiced peaches and grapefruit juice.  Other than that, it is very similar. except mine calls for venison and/or beef.  I LOVE the mincemeat, and have been a type of Johnny Appleseed giving out samples and talking about it to restore the bad reputation mincemeat has gotten as the result of the indelible stuff in jars.  My mother and I used to make 24 pints of the mincemeat at a time, and just this week, I made a 1/4 batch that yielded about 6+ quarts.  I also like to use Creme Sherry in my mincemeat.

I read where originally the pie had more meat than fruit, was probably less sweet too.  I wonder, with the citrus, it must have made for safer, longer preservation of meat through the winter.  Of course, I also wonder how available citrus was to the early pioneers of mincemeat. – Suzi Conklin (11/3/15)



Apples    Baking Hints & Tips    Beef    Christmas    Heirloom Recipes    Mincemeat Recipes    Pacific Northwest    Wild Game   

Comments and Reviews

3 Responses to “Grandma Myer’s Homemade Mincemeat Recipe”

  1. Becky

    My mom loves this stuff. I sent her this recipe so she can make her own. I need to re-try it again. I never cared for it as a child, but our tastes change as adults and I am a lot older now. I may appreciate it. The ingredients sound good.
    Thank you for the recipe. I know my mother will love to have it !!

  2. Andrea Jordan

    I have a handwritten copy of my Grandmother Grace May’s recipe for mincemeat. One corner is torn, and, of course, it is missing specific amounts and directions. I have been searching for another recipe that comes close to my grandmother’s recipe. THIS IS IT. I tried it and it is the taste I remember as a child. My grandmother and grandfather were both English. Myers is a German name, isn’t it?? I wonder how English and German had the same recipe???? The small Wyoming town that my grandma and grandpa lived in was also settled by a wave of German immigrants. Did my grandma get it from the Germans???

    • Whats Cooking America

      Myer’s was my Great Grandmother’s married last name. Her maiden name was Brown.


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