is it more hassle than its worth making mince meat for homemade mince pies?
It's actually not that hard if you can source good suet. And it's definitely worth it. ;o)
If you like cooking, making mincemeat is nolt a hassle it is a pleasure. And nothing beats homemade mincemeat. If cooking is not something you enjoy, buy all means buy pre-made. Whatever brings you the most ease will translate to your guests.
I agree with AntoniaJames. A good butcher shop should certainly be able to provide you with very good suet. Try it once, at least. That way you'll know if it is worth your time and effort.
agree with all above
homemade mincemeat is a revelation
it is work, though, as i remember from the last time i made it
lots of ingredients to assemble, grind, or chop
at the end you feel like you're part of a Charles Dickens novel
not to be missed
And then you can make mincemeat cookies (much better than pie, in my opinion). It's a Fannie Farmer oldie and can be found in Marion Cunningham's Fannie Farmer Baking Book. People who will not touch mincemeat pie love these.