Animal vs vegetarian suet in mincemeat & a bit of an AIBU

(24 Posts)
RhondaJean Sun 20-Oct-13 12:26:52

I too use nigellas recipe. Her star studded cranberry mincemeat doesn't use any suet at all and tastes divine. Even people who don't like mincemeat wolf the pies down.

She's got a really easy pastry recipe as well with trex and orange juice to go with it.

raisah Sun 20-Oct-13 09:45:44

Not just for veggies but do warn people who are on other diets such as kosher or halal that the mince pies contain animal suet. I follow a halal diet and do eat meat apart from pork but outside of the house I follow a vegetarian diet. I check that all my cakes & biscuits are suitable for vegetarians when out shopping.

WhoKnowsWhereTheBonnetsGo Sun 20-Oct-13 08:30:52

I use veggie, tastes fine, the palm oil thing bothers me a bit but as it is the one time of year that I use suet I have been prepared to overlook it. If I hadn't made this year's batch last week I would have tried grated butter, will make a note for next year.

forcookssake Sun 20-Oct-13 08:26:03

The 'veggie suet' made from palm oil is so problematic sad but equally the animal derived suet could only be consumed by about half of my friends/family.
Last year, by which point I really didn't want to buy anything containing palm oil, I tried the grated frozen butter option and the results were excellent grin
Also, has anyone tried using little discs/cut out stars of marzipan instead of pastry for the lids?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 19-Oct-13 16:22:53

I'm veggie. If I knew you well (ie family/close friends whose house I eat at etc) I would expect you to mention that they aren't veggie, if we weren't that close I'd ask - but I have lived overseas and have a much lower expectation that things will be vegetarian.

Using ice cold grated butter does work well smile

Waswondering Sat 19-Oct-13 16:16:51

I've only made Nigella's suet free mincemeat which is amazingly yummy. Gets round any veggie issues ...

I always make my mincemeat with vegetarian suet so that vegetarian friends can have it too. Honestly haven't noticed any difference in flavour.

EugenesAxe Sat 19-Oct-13 13:31:40

nicename - grin and I think it's usually marketed as 'beef suet'. I am a bit behind on Great British Bake Off and watched suet pastry last night - on that they said it's the fat around the kidneys/liver of, I think, cattle and sheep. It was more than one animal anyway.

nicename Sat 19-Oct-13 13:02:21

"Don't mess with my life choices!"

I like that phrase. I may need to steal it.

EugenesAxe Sat 19-Oct-13 12:59:22

OK thanks for your thoughts; I think I'll just use veg suet or grated butter. Might do half and half and see what transpires...

Bundaberg - yes I did say that when I know people are vegetarian, I give them vegetarian mince pies. I'm not deliberately messing with people's life choices!

nicename Sat 19-Oct-13 12:57:08

What type of meat is it anyway?

I absolutely think you need to warn people. I'd be very upset if I ate meat suet by accident. I would check, but since so many shop bought mince pies are veggie, people may not be aware of the possibility.

nicename Sat 19-Oct-13 12:54:59

No - a veggie would be seriously pissed off. A person who is veggie when it suits and/or eats fish, chicken, etc wouldn't be too annoyed, because they are not really a vegetarian.

Even if you do say 'home made' the veggies in your life would assume that as you knew they were veggie, you wouldn't be handing them a lardy pie. Others may not want to be seen as the 'bloody awkward veggie' asking the question.

Most mice pies you buy commercially are veggie these days. Loads of people probably don't think that a sweet pie can have lard in them these days.

VinegarDrinker Sat 19-Oct-13 12:54:09

Oh yes my Mum grates butter too for veggie Christmas pudding

IrisWildthyme Sat 19-Oct-13 12:53:53

I think it's kind to let people know, given that you don't know people's preferences and some people might have religious or ethical reasons not to want to eat a meat product without having loudly publicised the fact. It is so rare to find meat suet in a mince pie these days that many people would assume that it's too unlikely to check for and if feeling socially awkward at a party might be too shy to ask if they perceive they might be thought paranoid.

ChunkyPickle Sat 19-Oct-13 12:53:27

my mum always uses frozen grated butter (we have veggie friends, and really can't be bothered to make two batches) - they taste great - in fact I prefer it to suet which I find can be a bit cloying (whether veggie or animal)

VinegarDrinker Sat 19-Oct-13 12:52:05

Why not make your own veggie mincemeat too? No need for it to have suet in at all.

And yes as a veggie I would definitely want to know.

HavantGuard Sat 19-Oct-13 12:50:39

Please warn people. It would never occur to me that they weren't vegi.

Housesellerihope Sat 19-Oct-13 12:50:05

I haven't eaten meat in ten years and believe me, if I bit into a pie made with suet? I would know because it would taste really bad to me. I once accidentally ate bread made with lard and it tasted absolutely rank. That said, I would consider it my own fault as I hadn't asked, but I wouldn't be happy. Make what you like but to be extra nice to your guests, mention it.

DameDeepRedBetty Sat 19-Oct-13 12:47:47

The trouble is that some vegetarians take it very very seriously indeed whereas others don't. I know of at least one who would be genuinely upset if she discovered she'd been given a meat derived mince pie, and another who wouldn't mind.

I'd probably say 'home-made' (proudly grin) as I handed them round, and be ready to give the honest answer if asked.

To a certain extent, it's up to vegetarians to be aware that meat derivatives can be present in less obvious foods, eg gelatine in some sweets, and to take avoidance measures.

bundaberg Sat 19-Oct-13 12:46:35

veggie suet is fine, there really is NO difference in mincemeat at all.

i would be quite pissed off if i was deliberately given a mince pie containing animal suet if the maker knew I was veggie.

nicename Sat 19-Oct-13 12:44:59

Please warn the veggies! Can you imagine everyone munching on pies and a little voice pipes up 'is there real suet in here? '. A hushed silence, people spitting into napkins, into plant pots and wine glasses...

I know plenty of meat eaters who balk at eating suet!

MamaBear17 Sat 19-Oct-13 12:44:50

As a veggie I would prefer to know because I wouldn't eat it. I wouldn't expect you to provide an alternative though if there were other things available to nibble on. Can't help with the baking question as I've never used suet x

EugenesAxe Sat 19-Oct-13 12:40:46

I have always been a bit of an animal suet devotee - more flavour I always think. I tend to buy a small jar of shop mincemeat to make mince pies with if I know someone is coming over who is vegetarian, and make my homemade mincemeat with animal suet.

I would like opinions on whether this is a waste of time and whether I should just do my homemade batch with vegetarian suet. I hadn't realised vegetarian suet is made with palm oil... which I'm not too happy about, although the meat industry is not exactly much better for the planet.

Related to this... if I'm serving up mince pies or other beef suet mincemeat foodstuffs without knowing the food preferences of everyone in the room, should I warn people? When I was vegetarian it was more about not enjoying meat that much. I wouldn't really have cared about eating meat products in things like cakes or pies. I think though that's probably just me and that IABU not to say something.

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