Meat patties are most often credited to Jamaica. In actuality, Beef Patties are made throughout most of the English-speaking Caribbean.
Each Island Nation’s recipe varies in whatever mixture of local spices is most popular in that part of the Caribbean. One of the best beef patties we’ve tried in our Caribbean travels has been the Jamaican Beef Patty but the Beef Patties in the Cayman Islands are a very close second – if not tied for first place – in my opinion. Both similar in flavor and so delicious.
These patties, as originally written, were on the milder side. We’ve spices them up a bit by adding more Scotch Bonnet peppers. If you prefer a milder version, reduce the number of Scotch Bonnets to 1 teaspoon of minced pepper or omit it altogether.
The pastry usually only varies in how it gets its deep yellow color. Some recipes employ the use of egg yolks while others use turmeric, curry or annatto seed.
The meat patties can be made with ground chicken, turkey, or beef; it’s totally up to you. I would even venture to say that you could achieve these same result with tofu crumbles. Keep in mind that if you do change the recipe to tofu, chicken or turkey you will need to more boldly spice the meat mixture to keep them from being bland.
To test your seasoning on the meat mix, make a small patty and fry it up in a pan and then adjust the seasonings to taste if needed. Once you’re happy with the results, begin filling your pastry dough.
Beef patties are something that is pretty universal as to when they might be eaten. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or appetizer – anytime is a good time to eat a delicious Jamaican Beef Patty.
These can quite easily be made ahead and reheated in the oven or microwave and can be frozen as well and reheated in the oven.
When I was eating mine, I was adding a dab of hot pepper “jerk” sauce to them which made me think that these patties, though maybe not traditional in the Islands, could be served with a sweet mango chutney or spicy Pickapeppa sauce.
Need some other quick appetizers? Check these out:
- Jalapeno Popper Cheese Empanadas
- Cuban-Style Beef Empanadas
Jamaican Beef Patties
For the Dough:
- 3 to 31/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 cup cold butter or shortening
- 3/4 cup iced water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 egg yolks
- Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1/4 cup water)
For the Filling:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 6 sprigs scallions , sliced
- 1-1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 Scotch Bonnet pepper , minced
- 1.5 pound ground beef
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- Fresh ground pepper
For the Dough:
- Combine flour, salt, and curry powder in work bowl of food processor, pulse to combine. Add the butter or shortening and process until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. In a bowl combine water, vinegar, and egg yolks. Add wet mixture to work bowl and pulse until a ball forms. Cover dough in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
For the Filling:
- Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat, add onions, scallions, thyme, and Scotch bonnet peppers. When onion begins to soften, add ground beef, salt, and enough water to barely cover meat, simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add bread crumbs and adjust with salt and pepper, allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thick. Cut the dough into 6-inch circles. Place 2 tablespoons of the meat filling onto half of each dough round. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half moon shape and press to seal. Place the patties on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes. ***If making the cocktail size, cut the dough into 3-inch circles.
Recipe adapted from Food Network .