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Sweet Lamb Christmas Mince Pie Recipe


Lamb Christmas Mince Pies
Photo © Food North Wales
These mince pies may look familiar but look closely, they are not mince pies as we know them, though in fact they are what mince pies once were, made with minced meat. It was back as early as the 13th century that we ate the Christmas treat made with meat rather than the rich fruits and spices we are used to today.

This mince pie with a twist has been launched this yuletide, with a Welsh Lamb, beer and leek filling, and has been created by Food North Wales and artisan Baravelli’s of Conwy and shows how the delicacy was once made The Welsh mince pie has been created so those with or without a sweet tooth can enjoy this Christmas tradition.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: Depends on size of cutters


  • For the mincemeat:
  • 500g / 1 lb minced Welsh Lamb Shoulder
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped to small dice
  • 750g / 1 2/3 lb dried, mixed fruit (with candied peel)
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 225g / 8 oz oft brown sugar
  • 150ml / 2/3 cup Great Orme Brewery Celtica ale (or equivalent)
  • 150ml / 2/3 cup Brandy
  • 2 small leeks, washed and finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the pastry:
  • 750g 1 2/3 Plain / all purpose flour
  • 375g / 13 oz salted butter, cubed
  • Milk to bind pastry
  • 1 tbsp Icing sugar


  • Into a large, roomy baking bowl, place all the mincemeat ingredients, except the leeks, and using your hands, thoroughly mix all the mincemeat ingredients together.
  • Place the mincemeat mix into a saucepan - or a slow cooker - and cook over a very low heat for 5 hours or until the mincemeat has reduced to a thick paste. Stir the mixture occasionally to make sure it is not sticking or burning. occasionally.
  • Meanwhile. sift the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl and add the cold, cubed butte.
  • Rub the butter into the flour using the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add the milk, a spoonful at a time and gently combine to create a soft dough. Do not work the mix too much.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured board and knead very gently until smooth. Wrap the pastry in cling film and allow to rest for half an hour in the fridge or until the mincemeat is cooked.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 375°F/gas5.
  • Take the dough from the fridge and roll to about 3mm thick. Using a pastry cutter cut out circles of pastry large enough to fill your mince pie tin, a 12-hole muffin tin works perfectly for mince pies. From the remaining pastry cut out little stars for the tops.
  • Spoon in the mincemeat mixture taking care not to overfill the cases. Top off each one with a pastry star.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden brown. Serve warm or even cold as you would the ‘regular’ mince pies.

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