Here' s one of the great holiday classics to come out of the Great Britain though variants can be seem all through Europe.
Mincemeat pies are one of the quintissential Christmas eats. Remember Ron Weasley gobbling plateful of these in the Harry Potter films?
But the first step is making the mincemeat filling. If you've ever tried purchasing ready made mincemeat, unless that person is your granny who makes her own and sells it in her own shop, chances are the mincemeat looks like goop.
What it is and is meant to be is a wonderful collection of dryfuits, macerated in brandy or other distilled sugars, with spices, grated fruit and beef suet. Old recipes called for actual meat in the pies but beef suet is now what's used.
It is important to use the shortening (vegetarian if you must) as it lends a smoothness to the filling. The brandy keep it all from going south!
Get started of your mincemeat now and in time for Christmas to give the flavors maximum time to mature.