Monday, September 7, 2009

Jamaican Beef Patties

We took a little trip to the Island yesterday in honor of the holiday weekend. The Big Geek grilled jerk chicken and island chicken, bought a ton of Red Stripe, and plenty of RUM! I also made these little Jamaican Beef Patties. They're meant to be larger, but I made small ones as appetizers. You can do them either way, but if you make small ones you'll probably end up with extra filling (I doubled the filling recipe but had to triple the dough).

If I make these again (and I probably will), I think I'll use the patee brisee recipe instead of this one. It was much more moist and flaky than this recipe, even though the biggest difference was that this one called for half shortening, half butter and the patee brisee used all butter. I'd also leave out the curry powder from the dough because I thought it competed too much with the filling, but you can add it if you like. If you have a pastry dough recipe that you know and trust, go with it.

But here's the "original" recipe that I used yesterday:

2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup solid shortening
1/4 cup butter (called for margarine, but ew)
1/3 cup COLD water

I combined mine in the food processor like the patee brisee recipe, but the original says to sift together the dry ingredients, cut in the shortening and margarine until crumbly, and add cold water to make a stiff dough. Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut out as many circles as possible (you want to roll it out as few times as necessary). I used a drinking glass to make 3-inch-ish circles, but you can use a saucer or a cookie/biscuit cutter or whatever to get the size you want. The "real" Jamaican patties are the size of a small calzone, probably 8-inch circles.


Now this is the good stuff. I may play with this to make "Jamaican" meatloaf in the future, or hamburgers, oooh, or meatballs!

I did make this a day in advance, and I think the result was that the filling was too dry, so if you do that add some extra water or beef broth to get it a bit moist. I think in the better crust it might not have mattered as much.

2 Tbsp oil or butter
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Scotch Bonnet pepper (habanero, seeded)
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup beef stock
dark brown sugar to taste (optional)

For Assembly:
small bowl of water
1 egg, beaten

In a heavy skillet, melt the butter or heat the oil and saute the onion and Scotch Bonnet pepper over medium heat until they become limp. Add the ground beef. Brown the meat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain fat, then add salt, pepper, curry powder, thyme, and allspice and mix well. Turn the heat down to medium low.

Add the breadcrumbs and stock and combine all ingredients well. Cover the skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all liquids have been absorbed. It should be moist but not watery.

Taste the filling and, if desired, add dark brown sugar until you are happy. This will cut down the spice a bit and just make things even more delicious.

Remove from heat and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place filling in each dough circle (original recipe is for 8-inch circles and says 2-3 tbsp, but you'll need to adjust for your size of circle). Moisten the edges of the dough with water (just dip your finger into a bowl of water and trace the outside of the circle). Fold the dough circle over the meat filling. Pinch edges closed with a fork.

Brush each pastry with the beaten egg (or a mixture of 1 egg plus 1/4 cup water) and place onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or aluminum-foil-covered sheet).

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Original recipe makes 10 patties.

I'm sure I'll play around with this recipe some more, because the filling was really really good. :)

If you're making this for kids, omit the Scotch Bonnet pepper. It won't taste the same, but there's a better chance that they'll eat it.


  1. Sounds delicious! I love jamaican beef patties. Now I when I have a craving for it I can make it and not have to haul my ass up to San Mateo to the best Jamaican restaurant ever.

  2. i try this recipe once when i went to my husband home town ,even attempted to cooking it (my mother inlaw thought me) well its very tasty and also tasty meals indeed