Venison Mincemeat Pie Filling


1 to 2 lbs. cooked venison of any kind
1/2 lb. beef suet (from the butcher
5 lbs. pared apples, diced small
3 lbs. raisins
1 lb. currents
2 cups brown sugar
1 quart sweet apple cider, plus additional if needed
1 cup meat stock
1 tbsp. salt

Grind venison and suet through meat grinder, using fine grinding plate. Combine venison mixture and all remaining ingredients from Part One in large kettle (preferably nonaluminum) and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally; add more cider if needed.

Part Two:

1 small orange, well washed
1 small lemon, well washed
1 quart grape juice
1 cup molasses
3/4 cup vinegar
2 tsp. ground allspice
2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. mace
1/2 tsp. pepper

Grind orange and lemon, including peels, through fine meat grinding plate. Add ground orange and lemon, along with all remaining ingredients from Part Two, to cooked mixture from Part One. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes, until correct pie filling consistency is reached. Pack while hot into hot sterilized canning jars (approximately 6) and seal tight. Process in hot-water canning bath, following standard canning procedures, for 30 minutes. Instead of canning, you may pack into airtight containers and freeze. It takes about 3 cups of filling to make a 9-inch pie.

We use this recipe to make mincemeat pies year-round. It was developed by my mother, Alleen Thompson, who is 88 and still baking all the family pies. We like the results so much, we keep a copy of the recipe in the safe beside the deed to the farm. Traditionally, we use neck meat in the recipe. I have used a number of different species including bear, antelope and bighorn, and they have all worked well.

John Thompson
Evergreen, CO

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