3½ pounds (1.75 kg) pork and beef (weighed after cooking and ground; see Note)
3½ pounds (1.75 kg) firm tart apples
3½ pounds (1.75 kg) raisins
1 cup (250 mL) molasses
½ cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
5 cups (1.25 L) maraschino cherries (halved) and juice
2/3 cup (150 mL) cider vinegar
2 tablespoons (30 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon (15 mL) grated nutmeg
¾ teaspoon (3 mL) ground allspice
8 ounces (250 g) cut mixed fruit
1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt
Apple juice, if needed
1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla
Place meat in a large pot with cold water to cover. Bring slowly to a boil, uncovered, over low heat. Skim foam as it rises. Let pork simmer for about 1½ hours; beef for 2 hours. Remove from broth and cool.
Put meat through a food grinder and weigh out desired amount (you should have roughly 3½ pounds/1.75 kg).
Wash and core apples but do not peel. Put them through the food grinder, along with unpeeled oranges (cut in wedges to remove seeds if necessary.)
In a large roasting pan, combine meat, apples and oranges with all remaining ingredients except the apple juice and vanilla.
Place in a 200°F (100°C) oven for 2 hours, stirring frequently. Increase oven temperature to 300°F (150°C) and bake for another hour. If mixture appears dry, add apple juice to get preferred consistency.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Use immediately, or cool before storing in the refrigerator for a week or so to age. Bottle or package in pie-size amounts for gift-giving or freezing. Use with pastry of choice: place mincemeat in unbaked pie shell, cover with pastry and bake. Makes about a dozen tarts or 7 pies, plus; 4 cups (1 L) fills one 9-inch (23 cm) pie.)
Note: Choose meat that is quite fatty, i.e. blade roast and pork shoulder roast, about 3 pounds/1.5 kg each.