Jamaican Beef Patties


If you love spice, these beef patties are for you. With a flaky and buttery crust, these patties are full of flavor inside and out. This recipe makes 40 beef patties (you can freeze them unbaked for up to three months). Made like a turnover, these savoury treats will disappear as fast as you make them.

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Ingredients – Dough
6 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 cup shortening, cubed
1 1/2 cups butter, cubed
1 cup water
1 egg, lightly beaten (top/seal)
Additional flour for dusting

Ingredients – Filling
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 cup beef broth
1 Jalapeño pepper, diced
12 hot chili peppers, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, diced
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh green onions, sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by preparing the dough. Cut the butter and the shortening into cubes and place in the freezer for 10 minutes so that it gets ice cold. In a food processor pulse the flour, salt, turmeric, curry powder and sugar until evenly combined. While pulsing, add the butter and shortening one piece at a time. After adding half of the pieces, add the vinegar. Continue adding all the butter/shortening cubes and blend until the dough resembles small pea shapes. Pour in the water and mix until it turns into a ball. Dust a surface with flour as well as your hands. The dough is somewhat sticky out of the food processor and will incorporate the flour dusted on your surface while kneading. Add more flour on the surface until the dough does not stick to your hands when kneading. Continue to knead for 10 minutes ensuring to fold it in on itself. Wrap with plastic wrap dusted with flour and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

While the dough is resting in the refrigerator, make the filling. Heat the oil and add the onions, cooking until softened (approximately 3 minutes). Add the meat, garlic, and peppers and cook until the meat is thoroughly browned. Add the dry seasonings, fresh thyme, and soy sauce and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes until the seasonings are blended in. Remove from the heat and, using a pastry blender, chop up the meat so there are no chunks. Add the salt and pepper to your taste and remove the thyme stalks. Return to the heat and add the beef broth and allow the liquids to reduce for 5 minutes. Add the flour into the mix, blending it in and thickening the remaining liquid. Remove the mixture from the heat and incorporate the beaten egg and green onion. Set the mixture aside and let it cool for at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to prepare the patties, preheat your oven to 425°F and prepare your baking sheets with silicone lining or parchment paper.

Dust the surface you will be using to roll out the dough as well as the rolling pin. To make it easier to roll out, cut the dough into equal portions. Roll out each portion to approximately a 1/8” thickness (or thinner if you can). Using a 4” or 5” cookie cutter, cut the rounds. Add any scraps to the remaining dough and roll out again until all the dough is used (you may be left with a bit to discard at the end).

Add a tablespoon full of filling on one side of the round (if you are using a larger cutter, then add more meat), leaving a bit of space around the edges. Cover the meat mixture by pulling the other side over the meat to create a half-moon shape (you may need to pull the dough a bit). Use a fork to help crimp the edges. If you want to seal the edges before folding, brush them with a lightly beaten egg. In this instance, be sure to poke holes in the top. If you don’t seal them (and only use a fork to crimp), the patty will create its own opening at the side to release steam.

Place the patties on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the beaten egg. Bake for 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Note: If you are freezing them, place the uncooked, egg-brushed patties in the freezer on a baking sheet until firm. Once frozen, transfer them to a ziploc bag to store for up to three months. Cook from frozen (do not thaw) for 25 to 35 minutes at 375°F or until warmed throughout and golden brown on top.

Makes 40 patties.

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