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Mince (meat) Pie Update.

Hereford Heifer with tinsel

Couldn’t resist…

So the carols to the cows went down well. I think.

A few days ago a mutton shoulder handover took place in Tavistock. Thanks L &H for your Dartmoor reared contribution to the mince(meat) pie experiment, which you can read about the beginnings of here if you’re interested. For those that are already following this culinary foray it’s all about to happen…!

Vegetarians,ย  please look away now.

Mutton Shoulder

Cooked shoulder of mutton

Meat and fat separated

Meat and fat separated

I slow cooked the mutton, it was incredibly tender and extremely tasty, can’t think why we don’t eat more of it. Then I added some spices – cinnamon, mixed spice and a little chilli.

Adding the fruit mincemeat to the mutton

Adding the fruit mincemeat to the mutton

Mixed it all together

Mixed it all together

Rolled out the pastry

Rolled out the pastry

Assemble the pies

Assemble the pies

Put the tops on

Put the tops on

Placed them inthe oven

Placed them in the oven (jam tarts too)

Baked Mince Pies

Mince Pies on Plate

Ready to taste!

Ready to taste!

I will report back on the tasting sessions. I took a couple to the pub last night so they’re out there….

Hereford Heifer with tinsel

Thank you and Happy Christmas (again)!

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21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Stephen Miller #

    I feel sick

    December 25, 2012
  2. I am just laughing at the expression in that cow’s eye at the top. The phrase “baleful expression” comes to mind. I love the tinsel garland – such a festive addition. Now, when I was a child, that’s how we made halos for the angels in the Christmas pageants. Are we to understand you have angelic cows?

    The tarts look marvelous. Your pastry looks different than my pie crust. I think you’ve used an egg wash on top, but what was the shortening? In any event, I expect you’re going to receive fine reviews from folks!

    I hope your Christmas was fine. Best wishes for the rest of the festive season, and the New Year!

    December 26, 2012
    • Haha very appropriate ‘baleful expression’. Let’s just say that Lucy has just about reached ‘toleration’ of strange human behaviour ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have downed a couple (!) of pies myself and I think they are very nice – a bit more robust than a normal fruit one but quite delicious. B just thinks it’s plain wrong as a combination but he is a fiece traditionalist when it comes to mixing foods. I haven’t heard back from my friends yet – but looking forward to their responses.

      I used butter and oh shock horror, lard! Very good for a crumbly light pastry. I also used egg yolk and milk for mixing the dough.

      Best wishes to you too!

      December 26, 2012
  3. Gue' #

    Shore suggested I stop by and I’m glad I did. I’ve seen you posting on The Task At Hand but had no idea that you lived across The Pond.

    What lovely Herefords!

    My granddad had a small farm and he had Herefords when I was little. He had a lot of problems with them and pink eye. He eventually brought in an Aberdeen Angus bull, as that breed was reputed to be a little more resistant to the problem. Over the years, red and white markings disappeared and he ended up with black and black/white cattle. The black/whites were marked like Herefords.

    I’ve spent a windy afternoon inside, browsing back through your entries.

    Did you ever get suggestions on what to do with all that baling twine?

    My first reaction was to suggest using them as plant ties. Then, I wondered if you could braid, then rebraid the pieces to get some larger ‘ropes’, then weaving them into door mats to scrape your feet on before coming inside. Always a must, when living in rural areas and they do tend to wear out with use.

    I then asked Uncle Google about uses for baling twine. I turned up all sorts of sites that have oodles of ideas. Macrame was one of them. I guess weaving a doormat could be considered an offshoot of macarame.

    There was a suggestion of weaving them into shopping bags. Curtain tie backs was mentioned but I think I’d draw the line at that one!

    Try ‘uses for baling twine’, “crafts with baling twine’, ‘how to make a doormat with baling twine’, ‘how to recycle baling twine’ etc.

    December 26, 2012
    • Oh hello Gue, I recognise your name! I suppose cowgirl is not very english is it?! Should be cow girl… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Interesting to hear about your grandads herefords…I’ve never heard of pink eye, what’s that? These are a particular old strain of the breed – Traditional English Herefords, from where all the other kinds originate, now a rare breed. They are much smaller, horned and take much longer to mature, hence them falling out of favour with commercial farmers.

      I did get some good suggestions thanks – my favourite being making a crochet shopping bag! Think I might do that…

      December 26, 2012
      • Gue' #

        Pink eye is a common U.S. term for conjunctivitis, an infection of the eye. It is rather contagious and I frequently came home from visits to the farm with my own case of it! I was always down at the pasture petting the cows, getting the stuff from their eyes on my hands and, hence to my own eyes.

        I’m not sure exactly how pure a strain Papa’s Herefords were. They weren’t huge cattle, I know that. I’ve an old picture, somewhere, of me sitting on Papa’s bull. Papa was standing behind him and I guess the bull’s back was chest high to him. It was a very docile bull.

        They were beautiful animals. The calves were so precious, with those little white faces.

        December 27, 2012
    • Somehow I missed the rest of your answer about things to do with baler twine, thanks very much. I will have a look at Uncle Google!

      I’d love to see that picture. I just realised that quite a lot of farmers do the Angus/Hereford mix, hence the black cows with the white faces. I’ve not come across conjunctivitis – yet…but if they ever let me get to the petting stage (work in progress!) you never know. I’ll ask some other Hereford breeders about it.

      We’ve got a bit of a wait before we get to see some calves – maybe this blog will have to be longer than a year ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks so much for the visit, fantastic to meet another cow lover.

      December 28, 2012
  4. As an Aussie child, Mutton was served roasted more than lamb and mutton was corned as well. As a vegan I have no problem looking at your gratuitous meat shots ;). Your delightful little mince pies look like little piggy snouts …I wonder what the lamby alternative might be? We made amazing pork pies using lard hot water raised pastry and mini scotch eggs. It might be 30C in the shade but my stoic ex-pat husband’s Christmas foibles will have an out! He shared one of his large pork pies with our 90 year old neighbour and her daughter who pronounced it a 9 out of 10 and promptly made his day :). Your real mince pies look amazing… there is nothing like handmade degustatory treats to give your celebrations a touch of authenticity and relevance ๐Ÿ™‚

    December 28, 2012
    • I’ve always wanted to make a pork pie! I also used lard in the pastry for the mince pies which makes it very crumbly and light. Apparently lard is good for you now – or so someone on ‘the food programme’ said a while back. Everything in moderation! Glad my meaty shots are not making you sick! – that was my friend Steve who is very brave to read my blog, even though I put fair warning out about the meat shots! We’re on veg curry now, back to basics!

      December 28, 2012
      • Nothing wrong with Veg curry…it built an Indian empire! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lard and butter are back in favour now and we never stopped using butter in our house. I would take the vague chance of a heart attack any day over the definate chance of getting cancer from a chemical laced oil based cocktail. You just have to read Clarissa Wright Dickson’s little article defending it to see that all is NOT right on the Western Front with the purveyors of the nefarious marg spread and how insidious their efforts run to in getting their major competitor out of the picture! Hiring a doctor to try and get it banned…that’s a bit low! I guess there is nothing like a monopoly for increasing your profits exponentially eh? ;)…check out the article it makes for an interesting read…
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1244313/CLARISSA-DICKSON-WRIGHT-Stop-spreading-lies-trying-ban-butter-says-TVs-Fat-Lady.html

        December 28, 2012
  5. Gue' #

    Here in the Southern U.S., the mantra has been ‘Lard is good; lard is great’ for as long back as I can remember. On the other hand, the Southern U.S. also has a high obesity, heart problem and diabetes rate. Moderation IS the key; traditional Southern cooking used too much lard, too much *’cooking meat’, too much sugar, too much frying, too much of everything, really. But it was SOOOO good. Now that everyone is paying the price, they’re encouraging us to change the way we cook.

    I try to cook and eat healthier but Hubby isn’t too cooperative. He likes the old ways and it’s hard to get him to change. He thinks if he hides the take away containers in the outside dust bin, I won’t find out. HA!

    BTW, have you gotten any feedback from the mince pies you took to the pub?

    *Vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned) were always cooked with a piece of pork to give them ‘flavor.’ A smoked ham hock, smoked ham, smoked neck bones or salted/cured fatback or slab bacon,. Veggies literally floated in grease.

    December 29, 2012
    • Oh ok, I thought the obesity problems etc in the US (like it generally is here) were to do with fast and packaged food and the hidden fats and sugars in those, their addictive qualities plus the ginormous portions that are served! I have to say I was a little shocked by the amount of food that was served in restaurants when I was over there. Interesting to note that in the south it’s in the cusine too…sounds good though ๐Ÿ˜‰ Husbands are notoriously stubborn, good luck with that project!

      I have had a good response from my friends who ate the pies I don’t think they were just being polite. Making another batch tomorrow, I’m going to tweak the proportions slightly.

      December 31, 2012
      • Gue' #

        You are right, in that fast and packaged foods are big contributors to the U.S.’s nationwide obesity epidemic, as do those huge portions. (I tend to order appetizers, rather than entrees, on the rare occasions that we eat out.) Don’t forget about the lack of exercise because of increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

        I can’t recall seeing any overweight kids when I was in school. Now, most of them are. It’s shocking, really.

        Traditional Southern cuisine and cooking methods don’t help, either. Most of the women on my Dad’s side of the family were/are overweight. The men, less so, for some reason, though there were quite a few with ‘Dunlap’s Disease.’ (Their bellies had done lapped over their belts.) Heart disease and diabetes claimed many of them over the years.

        Though I try to cook traditional dishes in a healthier way but they just don’t seem to taste as nearly as good!

        Let us know how the new pies are received.

        January 1, 2013
  6. Oh yum! I wish I could beam myself over for a pub visit and get a taste — although I am sure they are long gone. Happy New Year to you!

    December 30, 2012
    • Happy New Year to you as well, here’s hoping for a peaceful 2013. I’m making a new batch of pies tomorrow, beam away!

      December 31, 2012
  7. Loved the last photo – a tinsel bedecked cow ๐Ÿ™‚ Top marks !!
    Wishing you a super happy new year!

    January 1, 2013
    • Thanks, Happy New Year to you too! May your veggies be bionic in 2013 and here’s hoping for some sun ๐Ÿ™‚

      January 1, 2013
  8. LOVING the festive cow bling! Mince pies looks fantastic. Darn, those pictures have made me realise how hungry I am, need to go and find some food… x

    January 3, 2013
  9. hi for this post, you are good.

    February 10, 2013

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