Traditional Mincement

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces currants – minced (chopped quite fine)
  • 8 ounces raisins – minced
  • 8 ounces sultanas or golden raisins – minced
  • 12 ounces shredded granny smith apples
  • 8 ounces shredded beef suet
  • 2-4 ounces mixed peel minced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • juice of one lemon or one orange
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1tsp vanilla or homemade bitters
  • 2-4 ounces brandy

Directions

  1. The amount of apple in this recipe is not a typo. In fact sometimes, I add more because this is close to what I grew up eating. I have added a scan of a fairly typical recipe from the 17th century and you can see that it calls for far more apple than most modern recipes.
  2. Secondly, this is mincemeat. I grate the apples when I grate the suet and I give the apples, suet, and dried fruit a whirl in the food processor before I put in on the heat. You may chop yours as much (or as little) as you like, but if you have never made this before I suggest mincing things not just chopping them.
  3. After chopping put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and heat them over medium heat until the suet melts and the mixture takes on a glossy sheen. As an aside, all of the spices are optional. I like a good deal of spice in mine.
  4. Let the mixture cool completely and then add the brandy.
  5. Put this in a container with an airtight lid and let it sit for at least a week. The longer it sits the more the flavor matures.
Cleland, Elizabeth. A New and Easy Method of Cookery. Edinburgh, Scotland: W. Gordon, C. Wright, S. Willison, J. Bruce, 1755. pp 81.

Brotchan Foltchep

Brotchan Foltchep

Ingredients

  • 3 leeks
  • 1 ounce butter
  • 3 ounces flake oatmeal (rolled oats)
  • 600 ml / 2 1/2 cups “white stock”: vegetable stock, or if preferred, chicken stock
  • 300 ml / 1 1/4 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of mace
  • Chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons double cream, sour cream or creme fraiche

Directions

  1. Wash the leeks thoroughly and chop into chunks. (Save one chunk and slice into rings as a garnish, if liked: put these aside until the soup is done.)
  2. Melt the butter gently in a saucepan, not allowing it to brown.
  3. Add the oatmeal and fry it in the butter, stirring until golden brown.
  4. Still stirring, pour in the stock and milk.
  5. Add the chopped leeks, salt, pepper and mace.
  6. Bring to a boil; then lower heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the broth is thick.
  7. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly.
  8. Liquidize the soup in a blender or with a an immersion blender, or push it through a sieve.
  9. Reheat gently without allowing it to boil again.
  10. Garnish with sliced leeks, parsley and cream.