Jamaican Beef Patties. This month’s featured Country for the ‘Eat the World’ challenge is Jamaica! We are so excited to share with you these beautiful beef patties that Nicoletta and I made together. These are not only a delight to eat given they are a handheld food, more so, they host a tender flaky crust housing the most aromatic, spiced, moist meat filling one could only imagine. Together, as a result, simply and utterly scrumptious!
Song of the day: “Jamming” by Bob Marley.
Obviously, I could not have been happier to hear we were stopping in Jamaica with our food group Eat the World. There are many recipes that I wanted to do, however, the one that really stuck and much to the suggestion of Nicoletta who was eager to make the dough, was these patties! In my mind, the thought that together we could pull this off in a most delicious and beautiful way prevailed!
Come with us and let’s bring a bit of Jamaica into our lives!
No Stranger to Jamaican food!
In fact, I have had a few friends from Jamaica and I still remember the various food that I so graciously tried plus enjoyed totally. Rice and peas, bun and cheese, jerk chicken, and these wonderful Jamaican patties. Who isn’t a huge fan of any street food, likewise, I have to tell you this particular hand patty comes high on my list. Given the flaky pastry and that spiced beef, it is just pure heaven!
Nicoletta and I also had the chance to visit Jamaica for my daughter Alexa’s and Rod’s wedding. We were in Montego Bay and we just loved it, from the beaches to the people, the music, and most of all, the food and drink. It was Nicoletta’s first time tasting rum and boy did she like it! Needless to say Nicoletta and I channeled all our Jamaican memories and happy thoughts into these Jamaican Beef Patties.
Welcome to Eat the World, and let’s have some fun in the kitchen!
Jamaican Street Food
From what I learned, the street is where you really get to taste the real deal in Jamaican cuisine. Jerk chicken/pork grilling on hot coals, roast breadfruit, roast yam, boiled corn, curry goat, to these wonderful spicy and incredible patties. These hand pies are also the Jamaican answer to fast food. They can be made with chicken, shrimp, cheese, or vegetable filling, or more so with beef like we have done today.
To explain, meat patties are also called Sunshine Patties in Jamaica. That is because there is quite a high amount of turmeric in the pastry that is responsible for the beautiful yellow color. We wanted to follow a traditional Jamaican recipe and found a great one on a Jamaican website, which we adapted slightly to our taste and need. Nicoletta added 1 tablespoon of turmeric but for a less prominent taste and color, you could reduce it to 1/2 Tbsp. TIP: You could substitute turmeric with yellow curry, however, the flavor will change. Likewise, you can adjust the spice. It called for scotch bonnet peppers, however, those are super hot, so I used some grilled green chilis that I had jarred in olive oil.
All-butter pastry dough
Although the pastry dough for traditional Jamaican patties is normally made with beef suet to ensure a flaky pastry, nonetheless, Nicoletta substituted it with butter and the pastry was perfectly light and flaky. You could also use lard or a mix of butter and vegetable shortening. Either way and as a result of loving what you are doing, you are going to get a lovely pastry!
The beef filling
For the beef filling, I used an organic butchers’ blend ground beef we purchased from an up and coming butcher shop called ‘The Butchery’. Just the look of this coarsely ground beef said tender and juicy. Just what I need for the filling of these Jamaican Beef Patties!
Furthermore, I used:
- beef stock
- minced onion and garlic
- charred green chilis
- yellow curry
- dried thyme
- onion and garlic powder
- fresh chopped parsley
- salt and white pepper
This is how we do it
Truly, we want that meat to stay juicy and tender, so this is how you do it:
- Firstly, break up the ground beef in a deep pan, add in beef stock and olive oil until it covers the meat. Cook until the moisture is almost all gone.
- Secondly, add in the onions, garlic, green chilis, all the spices, and mix until well incorporated. You may need to add a bit of broth to moisten it at this point. Keeping it juicy is key. A little sauté time and then, to richen it up a pat of butter, along with fresh chopped parsley and bread crumbs.
- Then, a very good stir to get it all nice and balanced.
- Lastly set aside until time to fill the patties.
Surely, I have to say that the aroma of this beef simmering on the stove with all those spices and everything was absolutely incredible. It was calling me and I kept going in for some spoonful’s! Then a voice said stop! As a result, I put the brakes on, or we would not have any filling left for the patties. Lol!
One thing about Nicoletta and I, we love cooking together. This next stage of getting these Jamaican Beef Patties ready likewise , involved some wonderful teamwork on our part. Furthermore, Nicoletta is the dough whisperer, and I am the spice king so having her roll out the dough was only natural, while I manned the filling. Truly a very beautiful job she did, right? She divided the dough into six pieces and rolled them out to a somewhat round circle.
Time to fill
This is where I come in. With a spoon in hand and my filling next to me, I proceed to fill each rolled dough with a few tablespoons of the meat mixture. Furthermore, not too much, and not too little is the song and dance, as Jamaican patties are neither too fat nor skinny minnie by no means! It has to be jussssst righhhhht! Somewhat flat but not no existent!
Folding and sealing!
Here’s the fun part. Time to close these babies up and get that oh so familiar edging that we all know these patties to have. We used a fork and pressed firmly but not too hard to cut through both layers of dough. It just needs to seal the deal not take it out! Lol! Now you have to admit, these look really cute and so so colorful. It brings nothing but sunshine to our kitchen!
A high five
A quick high five with my beautiful wife, and time to get these Jamaican Beef Patties in our already preheated oven.
In a word, look at these patties, beautiful! Not only the color but also the aroma of all those spices and that pastry. Wish you could smell our kitchen. It is amazing. I can’t wait to bite in!
No need for utensils
For one thing, there is no need for utensils to eat these. Consequently, it is totally a hand affair! They are still warm and I slowly break one open. Ooooooh, look at that! The filling is perfect, so moist, so tender, and okay I can’t wait, I have to take a bite. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm the crust is flaky, subtly crisp, and oh buttery with that hint of turmeric coming through. More so, the filling comes in like a silk blanket and the ground beef just melts at your tongue releasing the curry, thyme, pepper, allspice, paprika, and so much more. The sweet onion soothes the heat and spices nicely adding a roundedness to the flavors.
All in all, I have to say these “Sunshine patties”, are really delicious, lol. Now I know why they stress saying to keep that moisture in the filling: it is moist, tender, and scrumptious, and so balanced by the pastry that holds it together beautifully! Ultimately, it was so much fun, furthermore, making them with Nicoletta was truly wonderful. Hope you had fun too making these with us. As a result bringing some of that Jamaican sunshine to your kitchen! We would love to hear from you and see pictures of your Jamaican Beef Patties!
Check out all the other wonderful Jamaican dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!
Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup
Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger
Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seasonings
CulturEatz: Jamaican Ginger Beer Recipe
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Banana Fritters
Sugarlovespices (us!): Jamaican Beef Patties
Making Miracles: Jamaican Chicken Stew
Kitchen Frau: Rice and Peas (Coconut Rice and Red Beans)
I am so excited to share with you these beautiful beef patties that Nicoletta and I made together. These are not only a delight to eat given they are a handheld food, more so they host a tender flaky crust housing the most aromatic, spiced, moist meat filling one could imagine.
For the butter pastry dough:
- 225 g all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (110 g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp (2 g) salt
- 1/2 Tbsp (7 g) sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp (7 g) turmeric powder (I used 1 tablespoon)
- 115 g ice-cold water
For the beef patties:
- 500 g ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 tsp yellow curry powder
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 green chili peppers, finely chopped
- a pinch of dried red chili flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp chives
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
For the pastry dough:
- In the bowl of a food processor add the flour, salt, turmeric powder, and butter. Pulse 6-8 times or until you get a crumbly texture.
- Add in the ice-cold water and pulse until ingredients are starting to come together and a shaggy dough forms.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and quickly knead it together. Form a ball, flatten it, then wrap it in plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
For the beef filling:
- Add the ground beef into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Pour in 11/2 cups of beef stock and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. The meat should be submerged in liquid. Break up the meat with a spoon or fork, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or as the meat has absorbed most of the broth.
- At this point, toss in the chopped onions, minced garlic, grilled green peppers, red chili flakes, paprika, thyme, coriander, yellow curry, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, and allspice and stir till well combined. If you need to add some stock to the ground meat do so, the meat should be juicy.
- Next, add in the butter and chopped parsley. Stir to combine.
- Lastly, sprinkle in the breadcrumbs a little at a time and mix. Time to taste for seasoning and add if needed. Again, just make sure there is enough liquid to absorb the breadcrumbs. Then, remove the beef from heat and set aside.
Assembling the patties:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator, place it onto a floured surface, and divide it into 6 equal parts.
- Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it with a rolling pin to a round disc, roughly about 15 cm or 6 inches round.
- Fill each pastry disc with 2-3 tablespoons of filling on the lower part of the disc.
- Overlap the pastry dough to close the patty to resemble a half-moon crescent, press the edges, then seal with a fork.
- Place the 6 patties onto the lined baking tray and bake in the middle rack for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Depends on your oven. Just an eye on them.
- Take out of oven, place patties on a cooling rack.
Since there are a few steps involved: making the pastry, making the filling, assembling, and baking, you can make the pastry dough the day before and let it rest in the fridge overnight.
We also had some filling left and I made meatballs and coated them in panko and breadcrumbs and baked them in the oven on a baking pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes!
The patties freeze well, wrapped individually in plastic wrap, and then placed in a Ziploc bag.
The amount of turmeric in the dough makes them yellow and can stain your hands/napkins but it’s well worth it 😉 . You could replace turmeric with yellow curry.
The cook time reflects both the simmering of the filling and the baking of the patties.