The Mince Meat Throwdown was a success! Unlike the chowder made from Mrs. Bliss’ cookbook, the mince pie actually held its own as a main course. The recipe could have easily worked as a dessert pie, being as sweet as it was. Even though there was beef in the pie, it certainly didn’t taste like it! In fact, I was quite surprised by the lack of any savory aspect in this dish. While it was obvious from the recipe there wouldn’t be anything savory about it, my mind still expected it. If anyone gives the recipe a try and is feeling the same way, I would suggest serving it up with some gravy to satisfy the sweet/savory combination.
I tried to remain as true to the recipe as possible, but must admit some adjustments were necessary. While suet can still be found in some grocery stores and butcher shops, I unfortunately didn’t find it in my local grocery store and instead went with the next best thing – Crisco shortening. While a bit turned off by the idea at first, after adding it to the beef, I saw it simply made the beef thicker and richer. It certainly won’t become a staple in my cooking, but it did the trick. Another adjustment I made was pure weakness on my part. After measuring out the necessary sugar for the recipe, I simply could not stomach adding as much as was called for, and ended up including about 2/3 of the needed sugar. And I’m glad I did, because I can’t imagine it being any sweeter!
What I’ve found I like best about cooking these old, historic recipes is the simplicity of throwing everything into one pot. Whereas now, we sauté first then combine, or cook a sauce in this pot, and sear meat in another. The process, while enjoyable, can become rather complicated, not to mention the amount of pots and dishes that need to be washed afterwards. Being able to throw everything together in no particular order and allowing all the ingredients to marry is a welcome change. One pot suppers and casseroles seem to be rather popular recently, so perhaps we are returning to some of these old ideas.
If anyone out there gives the recipe a shot, let us know how you like it! And I’ll be posting some new recipes soon. Happy cooking!