Here are three delicious options, the first is the classic Mincemeat recipe passed down in Myrtle Allen's family for several generations. Of course, it contains suet so it's moist and juicy and best eaten hot. The second, Emer Fitzgerald's Mincemeat is vegetarian, it doesn't include suet or butter and is also gluten free. The third, Brandy Mincemeat, does not include suet either, but does have butter.


  • 2 cooking apples, e.g. Bramley Seedling
  • 2 organic lemons
  • 450g (1lb) beef suet (see P.00)
  • pinch of salt
  • 110g (4oz) candied citrus peel (preferably homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons Seville orange marmalade
  • 225g (8oz) currants
  • 450g (1lb) sultanas
  • 900g (2lbs) Barbados sugar (moist, soft, dark-brown)
  • 62ml (2 1/2fl oz) Irish whiskey


Makes 3.2 kilos approx. Makes 8-9 pots.

  1. Core and bake the whole apples in a moderate oven, 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, for 30 minutes approx. Allow to cool. When they are soft, remove the skin and pips and mash the flesh into pulp.
  2. Grate the rind from the lemons on the finest part of a stainless steel grater and squeeze out the juice and stir into the pulp. Add the other ingredients one by one, and as they are added, mix everything thoroughly.
  3. Put into sterilized jars, cover and leave to mature for 2 weeks before using. This mincemeat will keep for a year in a cool, airy place.

A Simply Delicious Christmas with Darina Allen and Rory O'Connell is on RTÉ Player now. Recipe taken from ‘A Simply Delicious Christmas’ published by Gill Books.