For Pyes of Mutton or Beefe. - Mincemeat Pie (1591) and How to Render Suet
Shred your meat and Suet togither fine, season it with cloves, mace, Pepper, and same Saffron, great Raisins, Corance and prunes, and so put it into your Pyes. ~ A Book of Cookrye Very necessary for all such as delight therin printed by Edward Allde, London 1591
How to Render Suet
I was fortunate enough to find suet at a local grocer. This was an extra step I took to add authenticity to the mince pies, but it is not a step you need to take. Suet, lard and vegetable suet are interchangeable. However, if you get the opportunity, you *should* try to make your own rendered suet, aka tallow. Why did I render it? To be quite honest, real suet is the fat around the kidneys, I had a sneaky suspicion that what I might have purchased as "suet" was not. Additionally, raw suet contains things we may not necessarily want to eat; skin, vein, blood and/or connective tissue...ick!
The process is super easy if you have a crock pot. Trim off any visible bits of meat or skin. Place your suet in the freezer. Once hardened cut your suet into blocks and process to a coarse grind. Place your ground suet into a food processor, turn on low and leave overnight. The next day you will find that the suet has rendered completely, leaving behind what is referred to as 'cracklings' which you can eat if you wish. Strain your fat (I used a coffee filter in a strainer), and allow to cool.
What you end up is tallow. THIS is what I used in the mince pies.
Shred your meat and Suet togither fine, season it with cloves, mace, Pepper, and same Saffron, great Raisins, Corance and prunes, and so put it into your Pyes.
For Pies of Mutton or Beef
Shred your meat and suet together fine, season it with clove, mace, pepper and some saffron, great raisins, currants and prunes, and so put it into your pies.
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of ground beef or veal (I used 80/20)
1/2 cup shredded suet
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp black pepper
a pinch of saffron
1/3 cup each raisins, currants and prunes chopped
I used store bought pie pastry. I got approximately 15 2" pastry shells from a 9" dough
Mix together all ingredients and cook slowly until the filling is cooked completely. When you are ready to serve, add your filling to your dough and cook in a 400 degree oven until the dough has turned brown (about 15 minutes). Serve.