Chocolate Chilli Berry Mincemeat
Homemade mincemeat is a revelation, once made it’s hard to go back to a commercial product. Even inveterate mincemeat sceptics like CT are happy to partake of this. In fact it was hard to keep his hands off the Chilli and Chocolate Mincemeat Slice I made last year.
Two years ago, I made my first ever chocolate mincemeat, it was a great success. Last year, I improved the recipe by adding chilli and prunes and and made Chilli and Chocolate Mincemeat. This year I did something different again, although I retained those three ingredients as they have now become integral to my recipe. Basically, it’s a question of using up whatever dried fruit I have lying around in my kitchen cupboards. I happened to have a lot of sultanas and also a bag of mixed berries, but no currents and not many raisins. Some marinade and some don’t. I’m in the former category and have mine steeping for five days before placing into jars. Who needs air fresheners when you have a bowl of fruit marinading in alcohol and spices? The house was nicely fragranced for several days.
So in time for Stir-up-Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent, I had all of my ingredients ready for their final stir. This auspicious day is traditionally when the Christmas puddings are made and families gather to have a stir and make a wish. I wasn’t making Christmas puddings, but we gave a good stir and made a wish anyway, then jarred them up. Very fortuitously, I’d been sent a range of jars and bottles in varying sizes from Pattesons Glass, including one of my favourites, a clip top jar. So I had some brand new shiny jars to use for my mincemeat – perfect for gifts. Being a great preserver, I’m looking forward to using the rest of the glassware. Sadly I didn’t manage to make sloe gin this year, but I will find something delicious to put in those lovely clip top bottles. And the sauce bottles are just what I need for my chilli sauce – assuming our chillies ever ripen enough to make any this year. Pattesons sell all sorts of glass jars and bottles including some unusual designs and Le Parfait. Most, however, are only available as a bulk order, so you may need to make some room on those pantry shelves or alternatively share them around with other preservers.
- 400g cooking apples (I used unidentified Cornish varieties) - peeled, cored and finely chopped.
- 75g vegetarian suet
- 500g sultanas
- 100g prunes - chopped
- 150g mixed dried cherries, cranberries and blueberries
- 60g home-made mixed peel - chopped
- 25g dried apple - chopped
- 100g dark chocolate (90%) - chopped
- 150g dark molasses sugar
- grated zest and juice of a large organic lemon (unwaxed)
- 1 small rocoto chilli - deseeded and chopped finely.
- 75g flaked almonds
- 6 tbsp cognac
- 6 tbsp mint vodka (home-made)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- a good grating of nutmeg
- a small grating of star anise
- Place all of the ingredients into a glass bowl and give a good stir.
- Cover and leave to marinade for five days, stirring on a daily basis.
- Spoon into sterilised jars, cover with waxed paper discs and store in a cool dark place until ready to use or giveaway.
- Best made a few weeks before Christmas and if stored well, should easily last a year.
- Makes enough to fill 3 half litre jars.
With the predominance of sultanas in this mincemeat, I am submitting it to One Ingredient where the theme is Fruits of the Vine. Hosted by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen and Laura of How to Cook Good Food, this is a monthly challenge.
A jar of this is also winging its way over to Javelin Warrior for his Made with Love Mondays.
Thanks to Pattesons Glass for sending me a fabulous selection of their ware. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own.