2nd Prize, Iowa State Fair, 2014


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance


Picnics and Family Reunions


Iowa State Fair

August 15, 2014


Second Prize Winner


mincemeat pie iowa state fair chicago foodways roundtable alliance

(Image by Catherine Lambrecht)


Grandma B’s Homemade Mincemeat

Joyce Larson, New Market, Iowa


20 lbs of apples:

That doesn’t seem like a lot of apples – Right!


I used to have to help Grandma B make mincemeat.  We could go out and pick the first fall apples.  The second tree came in after the first frost.  We picked buckets of apples.  And put them into the cave until the second tree came in. My Grandma said by mixing both trees her mincemeat had a better flavor.  My Grandmother never drank any liquor in her life.  But on her recipe card it said use the good Brandy!  Not the cheap stuff.  She said go ahead by buy the $2.00 bottle, which was pretty steep in 1927.  I still make her recipe.  We have to have the great mincemeat pie on Holidays.


Also, she said you must use your best beef roast to make this mincemeat.  Do not chop, shred the meat!


This way you can tell you used a good beef roast.


The most fun I had was when I was about 10 years old.  All my Aunts and Grandma got together to make a massive batch of mincemeat.  After the split, our share was about 18 quarts of mincemeat.  I know its a lot of work but, its a great memory.


I think this recipe is about 87 years old.


My son gave me this pie plate for Mother’s Day.  It’s Mom on the inside.



Grandma B’s Homemade Mincemeat

Joyce Larson, New Market, Iowa


20 lbs apples chopped

5 lbs good beef roast (cooked)

1 qt beef broth

1/2 gallon good apple cider

1 qt of cherries

1 pint jar of currant jelly

2 lbs regular raisins

1/3 pkg red hots

2 T cinnamon

2 T cloves

2 T nutmeg

1 pint gooseberries

9 lbs brown sugar

2 lbs suet

2 pints vinegar, apple cider

2 lb golden raisins

1 t black pepper

2 cup Good Brandy (Grand Reserve VSOP)



Cook beef – chop apples – Take your largest pressure cooker.  Mines a 22 qt size.  Place cooked beef, chopped apples and apple cider vinegar in.  Now add the rest of the ingredients.  Do not add brandy at this time.


Cook for about 2 hours on very low heat.  When mixture starts to boil, add brandy.  Use your judgement on amount.  Cook just until it starts to boil again.


Pack and pressure at 11 lbs for 90 minutes.


This size batch makes 14 qts.