IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

American website confused what mincemeat was and included ground beef in a pie recipe

A little mix-up over a British term caused a whole lotta confusion!
/ Source: TODAY

This recipe is very ... hit or mince.

American food website The Spruce Eats was left with egg — or, rather, ground beef? — on its face after it published a recipe for mincemeat and apple tart that confused mincemeat for minced meat. Mincemeat is a popular British mixture comprised of chopped dried fruit, suet and sometimes meat. But it's not ground meat. Admittedly confusing.

The recipe, which was written by renowned British food writer and chef Elaine Lemm, had been on the site for years, but was recently updated with new photos. It calls for nine ounces of mincemeat, along with shortcrust pastry, apples, sugar and butter.

It sounds simple enough, except for the fact the site included a picture of all the correct ingredients, with the notable exception of raw ground beef. People were then told to top the meat with the other ingredients and cover it up before placing it in the oven and then serving it with custard, making for quite the interesting culinary creation.

"The miscommunication here was with the freelance photography team tasked with shooting the pie, who was obviously not familiar with the mince term," a spokesperson for The Spruce told TODAY in an email about the error, which has since been fixed. "We hope everyone can appreciate the humor in the situation!"

And, no, you are not the first person to recall the classic "Friends" episode, in which Rachel, mixing ladyfingers, jam, custard, fruit, beef, vegetables and whipped cream, makes a trifle that Joey finds delicious.

"What's not to like?" Joey asks. "Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? GOOD!"
"What's not to like?" Joey asks. "Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? GOOD!"NBC

As you may imagine, the Internet got wind of The Spruce Eats’ snafu, crediting the mix-up to the fact that American’s don’t know the difference between mincemeat and minced meat.

“utterly obsessed with this american site that has confused mince with mincemeat, and created this abomination,” tweeted British editor Luke Bailey.

"Here’s my theory - the food writer @britishfood sends Spuce Eats [sic] a traditional British recipe. They decide to make it and take photos of it for the article. But they don’t know what mincemeat is, resulting in this unholy horror," wrote British blogger Tom Coates.

"Well, gosh, I think I may have spotted a tiny transatlantic misunderstanding in this recipe," tweeted British producer Kim Plowright.

Some, however, went so far as to place the blame on the British themselves for coming up with terms that are so easy confused.

"Ok sorry UK this is on you for calling beef 'mince' and fruit 'mincemeat.' You're the ones that said 'meat'!! Don't say meat if you don't mean meat!!!"argued Eater staff writer Jaya Saxena.

The Spruce, fortunately, managed to laugh at the incident.

"This was an unfortunate, if not hilarious, mix-up by one of our photographers during a recent shoot," the spokerperson told TODAY. "As soon as we were alerted to the mistake, we fixed the photo in the article. We love Mince Pies at The Spruce — here's a fantastic traditional Mince Pie recipe. We hope this provided a good laugh and a happy holiday season to all!"