This is my first picture-less post for my newlook blog. I've been meaning to do 'real mince pies' for a while, but never got round to it. I resisted the temptation to feed any to my vegetarian niece (but I told you it was a mince pie!). The general verdict was that they were good. They didn't taste particularly 'meaty', and were a little less fruity and spicey than the normal version. I may try making them with a higher quantity of meat, or using something more gamey next time round.
The recipe and method are exact the same as for traditional mince pies: a two-stage process involving making the mincemeat and then doing the pastry and baking. The only change is to add some lean minced beef (or your meat of choice) to the traditional mincemeat mixture before filling the pies. I used a proportion of one part real meat to three parts mincemeat, but I think I could have upped this to 1:2 or even to 1:1.
Of course, when mince pies were first developed they contained meat, combined with spices and dried fruit. Over time, meat became classified as 'savoury' and was dropped from this dish, so this is really just a return to tradition.