Once upon a time, when sugar was a rare and expensive spice and meat was wild and growing abundantly, mincemeat was a way to use up leftover bits of meat by adding small amounts of sugar to it to serve it as a sweet dessert. Although modern day mincemeat is made of dried fruits, spices and sugar, old-fashioned mincemeat really was minced meat. Over time, the meat was eliminated and only fruit was used, but you can still make a nourishing mincemeat with meat and animal fat.

Mainstream mincemeat is usually made with cooked meat and fat and is canned. I do not recommend canning. This recipe is a raw, lacto-fermented mincemeat that includes a small amount of raw meat. It's a good way to get raw meat into your diet. Eat a spoonful of it as the mincemeat condiment along with a meal.

Things To Make Ahead of Time:


When pickled lemon peels are ready (should look mushy and fuzzy through the jar, and the surrounding  liquid begins to look a little cloudy), make lacto-fermented salsa of  tomatoes and peppers

Chop up some pickled lemon peels and mix them with the salsa to make
chutney. Add any pieces of over-ripe fruit you have.

Also popular in  mincemeat is pickled watermelon rind. You need a jar that you made in the summer. To make pickled watermelon rind, eat the red part of the watermelon and then cut or peel away the outer green skin. The white pulp between the edible red flesh and the inedible green skin is the part to pickle. Cut it up into chunks, cover with brine (salt water in a proportion of 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 pint of water) and push it down under the brine and let it sit for a couple months, or until the apples start to fall, which is mincemeat making season..

 To Make Mincemeat 

Take a tablespoon-sized piece of meat scrap and run it through a blender or meat grinder. Take the various pickles cited about, mix a cup (in total) of them together. You can also use some finely chopped, un-pickled apples and some raisins if you have them. Amounts of each ingredient can vary to taste and what you have on hand. Stir in a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Mix together, put in a jar and keep in the fridge. Have a spoonful with a meal as a condiment.


Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation by The Gardeners and Farmers of Centre Terre Vivante.
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike and Nancy Bubel. An excellent book on storage of fruits and vegetables.
Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient  With Recipes by Jennifer McLagan

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