This Jamaican beef patties recipe is made with a flaky pastry and filled with a highly seasoned beef filling.
These baked patties can be found throughout Jamaica at roadside food shacks, in snackettes, canteens and anywhere that sells food. It is a must-have if you ever visit Jamaica.
They are easy to make and are much larger than traditional patties. A favorite way to eat them in Jamaica is sandwiched between coco bread (a yeasted sandwich bun that contains no cocoa and no coconut despite its name). Wash it down with an ice-cold beer, a hot beverage or a cold fruit drink.
- For the Pastry Dough:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (or curry powder)
- 8.81 ounces (250 g) cold vegetable shortening
- 1 cup ice cold water (plus more if needed)
- For the Filling:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup diced onions
- Minced hot pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup finely sliced green onions (white and green parts)
- For Assembly:
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup water for sealing
Make the Pastry Dough
- To a large bowl, add flour, 1 teaspoon salt and turmeric and mix thoroughly.
- Rub shortening into flour until there are small pieces of shortening completely covered with flour.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of the ice water and mix with your hands to bring the dough together. Keep adding ice water 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms a dough.
- At this stage, you can cut the dough into 2 large pieces, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using it.
- Alternatively, cut the dough into 10 to 12 equal pieces, place on a platter or baking sheet, cover securely with plastic wrap and let chill for 30 minutes while you make the filling.
Make the Filling
- Add ground beef to a large bowl. Sprinkle in allspice and black pepper. Mix together and set aside.
- Heat oil in a skillet until hot.
- Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add hot pepper, garlic and thyme and continue to sauté for another minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Add seasoned ground beef and toss to mix, breaking up any clumps, and let cook until the meat is no longer pink.
- Add ketchup and more salt to taste.
- Pour in 2 cups of water and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and whatever is remaining has reduced to a thick sauce.
- Fold in green onions. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Assemble the Patties
- Beat the egg and water together to make an egg wash. Set aside.
- Now you can prepare the dough in two ways.
First Method: Flour the work surface and rolling pin. If you had cut it into 2 large pieces, then take one of the large pieces and roll it out into a very large circle. Take a bowl with a wide rim (about 5 inches) and cut out three circles.
Place about 3 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto 1/2 of each circle. Dip a finger into the water and moisten the edges of the pastry. Fold over the other half and press to seal.
- Take a fork and crimp the edges. Cut off any extra to make it look neat and uniform. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and continue to work until you have rolled all the dough and filled the patties.
Second Method: If you had pre-cut the dough into individual pieces, work with one piece of dough at a time. Roll it out on a floured surface into a 5-inch circle or a little larger. Don’t worry if the edges are not perfect.
Place 3 heaping tablespoons of the filling on one side of the circle. Dip a finger into the water and moisten the edges of the pastry. Fold over the other half and press to seal.
Take a fork and crimp the edges. Cut off any extra to make it look neat and uniform. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and continue work until you have rolled all the dough and filled the patties.
Frying and Serving the Patties
- After forming the patties, place the pans in the refrigerator while you heat the oven to 350 F.
- Just before adding the pans with the patties to the oven, brush the patties with egg wash.
- Bake patties for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool on wire racks.
- Serve warm.