Posts Tagged With: venison

Mincemeat Pie

British Dessert



3¼ cups flour (2 tablespoons more later)
1¾ cups confectioners’ sugar (1 tablespoon more later)
1¼ cups butter, cubed
1 egg
ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, as necessary
2 tablespoons flour


1 28-ounce jar mincemeat
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar


round pastry cutter, glass cup, or muffin tray
sonic obliterator

Makes 12 small pies. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.


Add 3¼ cups flour and confectioners’ sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Use cold hands to fold butter and egg into flour. Add ice water 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary, until dough starts to form a ball without being sticky. (Don’t over do it.) Cover pastry and let chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes. (You might to re-roll the dough so you can make more circles.)

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Place about ¼ of the dough at a time on flat surface.. Leave the rest in the refrigerator until needed. (You really do want to work with cold dough.) Roll out dough until it is 1/6″ thick. Use round pastry cutter to make a large circle sufficiently wide to fill the bottom and side of muffin cups, about 5″ wide. Re-roll the dough as needed to make more circles.

Line muffin cups with 5″ dough circles. Now make 12 small circles wide enough to cover the top of the muffin, about 3″ wide. Use ¼ of the remaining dough, left over from making the 5″ circles, Leaving the rest in the refrigerator until needed.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill the pastry-lined muffin cups ¾ full with mincemeat. Cover with 3″ dough circles. These lids should overlap the mincemeat-filled pastry cups. (But not go over onto the rest of the muffin tin.) Gently push down on lid edges to form seals. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks then sprinkle mincemeat pies with 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar. Or serve right away. Zap any guest who doesn’t fully appreciate the care you took in making this dish.


1) Mincemeat pies don’t have mincemeat in them.

2) But way back in the 16th century, in Tudor times, they did.

3) Because meat was cheaper than fruit in those days. The meats of choice were: beef, venison, and lamb. There was even a Tudor poem about this.

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep.
But where did they go?
Into a neighbor’s pie they weeped.
Ho, ho. Ho, ho. Ho, ho.

In real life, the next-door neighbor was usually a rapacious, unfettered lord, who supported King Henry VIII. So many sheep were stolen by the greedy nobility that the peasantry became increasingly disgruntled.  It didn’t help that space aliens kidnaped the remaining sheep in 1535. Since the extraterrestrial sheep abductions occurred at night, no one saw them happen. The poor people naturally blamed the barons, lords, and earls.

A surly mob of peasants gathered at the Duke of York’s castle demanding the return of all their sheep. We are lucky to have the following exchange in writing as the historian John Haggis was just happened to be present. Here it is:

Surly Peasant Leader: We want our sheep back!
Duke of York: There are no sheep. I have no sheep. No one has sheep.
Surly Peasant 1: We don’t believe you.
Duke of York: I don’t care.
Surly Peasant 2: But how can we make mincemeat pies without sheep?
Duke of York: Eat mincemeat pie made from giraffes.
Surly Peasant Leader: C’mon lads, lets throw Duke Greedypants from off the castle walls.

They stormed the castle and they him down into the moat. This act precipitated a rather serious revolt with the rather mild title of The Pilgrimage of Grace. Eventually, King Henry VIII had this revolt put down.

But the king had seen the writing on the wall. King Henry proclaimed in The Great Ingredient Decree of 1538 that no matter the prevailing conditions of the realm, every peasant would had a right to find all she needed to make a proper mincemeat pie. Since, the sheep were all gone, pie makers switched to beef. Centuries later, the price of fruit began to fall compared to that of beef. So the beef in the pies began to be phased out in favor of dried fruits. Nowadays, mincemeat pies have no meat in them at all. Now you know. Oh, the sheep found their way back to Earth and England in 1567,


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on



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Great Arctic Eats – Narvik, Norway


Do you love to eat? Are you like Goldilocks in that you don’t like too many or too few people around?  Do you like the cool, bracing outdoors? Do you like history, beautiful mountains, and skiing? Well, Narvik, Norway is the place for you.
There are 24 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm) for Narvik! Let’s dine at the top five eateries.
The must-go-to restaurant is Linken Restaurant and Bar. Be sure to try their turbot and cod. Fiskehallen also serves great local game such as venison, reindeer, wild boar, and ptarmigan with berries. Ptarmigan with berries! Where else can you get that? And wild boar! You can’t get that in my home town of Poway, California. They also serve reindeer-and-roes soup. Go there, go there and have a meal for me. The rooftop view from Linken is fantastic. Take in the town of Narvik and the beautiful mountains. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They also have reindeer tartar. Enough said. Go there.
Second on our restaurant tour is Fiskehallen. As might be expected from a restaurant whose name means “Fish Hall,” it specializes in fish and seafood. But they do fish so well, perhaps even having the best fish in Norway.  The atmosphere is cozy, the portions are big, and everything is served by a friendly staff. Be sure to dine on their huge, fresh shrimp (OMG),  cod, Arctic char, and pan-fried halibut. Their side dishes are also tasty. Save room for their rich chocolate pudding and ice cream.
Winning the bronze medal is Milano Restaurant Narvik. Scandavia’s Arctic Circle seems to favor Italian restaurants named Milano. Perhaps Milano is a chain and is winning over all the Northern diners. Milano of Narvik certainly serves great Italian food. They specialize in tasty pizzas. They also serve chicken meals and kabobs. Their large portions are served by a great, caring staff. The tea is great.  If I were to go there, I’d be tempted to sample a slice of their nacho pizza. Nacho pizza, north of the Arctic Circle, who would have guessed it? I am happy to relate that Milano Restaurant gave food during the Christmas season to locals hurting from the recent recession.
We now visit Kafferiet Resurante og Bar.  Enjoy large portions in a cozy atmosphere. Be sure to try their reindeer shank, cod fillet, and leg of lamb.
Special mention goes to Sushi Point.  A great staff serves tasty, fresh sushi at a good price. Sushi in the Arctic, this is a great town.
The four best ways to reach Narvik are by: air, sea, car, and train. The fifth through seventh best ways will most likely take significantly longer and be less enjoyable
Be sure to visit Narvik Krigmuseum.  This museum does a superb job of honoring the achievement and the courage of the Allied forces fighting the German invaders in 1940. Not only does it relate the fierce battles, but it also devotes a section to analyzing the big questions of war and human rights during conflict. It’s interesting and informative exhibits make it well worth a visit, particularly for history buffs. There’s also a nice little coffee shop and gift shop. Go there
Then take the cable car to Narvikfjellet. This is resort is quite popular with the locals. It boasts of world class off-piste skiing. I don’t honestly know what off-piste skiing is, but it is world class. This skiing resort has some of the largest vertical drops in Scandinavia. Yikes for me, but fantastic for dedicated skiers. But don’t worry,  Narvikfjellet is also suitable for families and beginners. Admire the breathtaking view from the top and enjoy scenery from the cable car.
You should probably visit Narvik Kjøretøyhistoriske Museum. Kjøretøyhistoriske translates as Vehicle History. That’s all I really know about the place. The museum earned a rare, perfect rating of 5.0. Yet no one left a review. Why? Why was that so hard? Perhaps the exhibits entranced the visitors so much that they were at a loss for words.
Next on our museum tour is the Narvik Museum. It receives a still quite good rating of 4.0. However, its guests proved to be much more helpful than those went through the doors at Kjøretøyhistoriske. This museum tells the story of Narvik’s development. It emphasizes the stories of the iron-ore mines, the rail transport, the harbor, and the town’s tunnels and bridges. A section of the museum devotes itself to the great fire that destroyed the town’s old wooden center. Don’t forget to ride in an authentic iron-ore car.
Finally, please visit the Polish War Memorial and pay your respects to the braves Polish sailors who died fighting the Nazis in 1940. They are especially worthy of our admiration for they sailed all the way here, despite losing their homeland to the Germans in 1939. To remember.
As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: Arctic eats, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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