Mince pies, made with actual mince

IMG_3055It’s a bit of a treat to have friends round for dinner and have dessert provided by one of the guests – who also happens to be an internationally renowned food writer and cook. Nichola Fletcher is a woman of many talents, but game is the one she’s most loved for in our house! For dessert she brought mince pies and a hart mousse, both using the venison her family farm is known for.

The pies contained a traditional mince meat with a mix of meats: venison, squirrel and rabbit. The addition of the meat was excellent – the pie filing had a more rounded texture and flavour. If you fancy making a traditional mince meat mixture, see the recipe below.

Nicky’s other dessert was a raspberry hart mousse, made with gelatine extracted from venison bones. I was very impressed with this recipe! One day I will try this myself – it’s one way of making use of all the parts of the animal.

Mince meat recipe

2 lbs raisins
3 lbs currants
1½ lbs lean beef (or you could experiment with game)
3 lbs beef suet
2 lbs moist sugar
2 oz citron
2 oz candied lemon peel
2 oz candied orange peel
1 small nutmeg
1 pottle of apples
the rind of two lemons, the juice of one
1/2 pint brandy


  1. Stone and cut the raisins once or twice across, but do not chop them.
  2. Wash, dry and pick the currants free from stalks and grit.
  3. Mince the beef and suet, taking care the latter is chopped very fine.
  4. Slice the citron and candied peel, grate the nutmeg, and pare, core and mince the apples.
  5. Mince the lemon peel, strain the juice and when all the ingredients are thus prepared, mix them well together, adding the brandy when the other things are well blended.
  6. Press the whole into a jar, carefully exclude the air, and the mincemeat will be ready for use in a fortnight.
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