Jamaican Beef Patties

I’m falling behind again.  It’s been a few weeks since my last post, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking.  We’ve been getting a little painting done around the house, and doing some R&D on a few recipes,  so the first one I will share with you is this fabulous recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties.  Comforted and satisfied  are just how these little packages of flavor filled bliss make me feel.  Especially good  if you have a nice cabbage salad and cold Jamaican Beer to go along with them.  Life is good .  These are the things that make me happy and that is why I can’t wait to share them with you.  So put on your apron and get the show on the road.   There will be time to relax later.

~Jamaican Beef Patties~

Ingredients for Filling

  • 1 large cooking onion , chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbsp(15mL) fresh ginger grated
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • ½ tsp(2mL) tumeric
  • ¾ tsp(3mL) ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp (3mL) ground allspice
  • ½ tsp(2mL) ground cardamom
  • 1 scotch bonnet seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme no stems or 1 tsp(5mL) dried
  • 4 green onions finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp(15mL) parsley
  • 1 can 796 mL (28oz) diced tomatoes, drained, and chopped
  • 1tsp(5mL) salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  • ¾cup (177mL) beef broth

Ingredients for the pastry

  • 4 cups (500grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp(10mL) tumeric
  • 2 tsp(10mL) salt
  • 8 tbsp(118mL) shortening
  • 1 stick (4 oz) butter , cold
  • ½-¾ cup cold water
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with a few drops of water  for the assembly of the patties

Preparation for the filling

In a large heavy pot, brown meat on medium high heat , while breaking it up.  Remove from heat, and drain the fat from the meat in a strainer, over a bowl.  keep 1-2 tbsp of the fat for browning the cooking onions. Brown onions in pot with the 1-2 tbsp of fat, cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, ground beef, tumeric, cumin, allspice, cardamom, scotch bonnets, and thyme, cook over medium low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add the green onions, parsley, tomatoes, and beef broth, and simmer on low for 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set it aside and cool completely, then put in the fridge until ready to assemble.

* I like to make the meat mixture , and dough , then keep in the refrigerator overnight and assemble and cook the next day, that way it doesn’t seem like so much work and is good if you don’t have the time to do it all in one day.  Of course when  I make this recipe I multiply it by 4 so I can make them for the freezer, if you do multiply the recipe, you will want to do the dough in batches one at a time as it is hard to handle that much dough.

Preparation for the Dough

Sift the flour, salt and tumeric, over a large bowl .  Use a pastry cutter or two knives and cut in the shortening and butter until the mix looks like small crumbs .  Add water a little at a time and cutting it in a bit and mixing with your fingers, DO NOT over work the dough or you will have a tough pastry.  Roll up the dough into a log shape about 3 inches in diameter and wrap in plastic. I find that rolling into the log and then later cutting into discs makes it easier to work with, rather than trying to work with a large amount of dough at once.   Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Assembly and Cooking 

Remove dough from fridge, and let sit for 30 minutes or so. You can also remove the meat mixture at this time if cooling in the fridge.   If using a large cutting board , put a damp towel underneath so it won’t move around while rolling the dough.  Lightly flour surface.  Unwrap dough, and cut into 12 circular discs. Place one disc in palm of hand and using both hands press with palms to flatten out the disc a little and round the edges, then sprinkle a little flour on top of the disc so that the rolling pin does not stick to the dough.   Roll out each disc to about 1/8 inch , roll in one direction at a time don’t roll back and forth. The disc should be 7 inches in diameter.  I use a 7 inch lid of a plastic jug  to cut it into a perfect circle.  Take the egg yolk, mixed with a few drops of water, and brush the edges of the round circle, this will help the edges stick together.   Place ¼ (59mL) cup of the meat mix onto the centre.  Fold the dough over and pinch closed with a fork, then lightly brush some of the egg yolk  over the dough to help give it a nice brown color while cooking.   Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and cook at 400º for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove from heat and place the finished patties on a cooling rack.  Makes 12  7 inch patties.

As I mentioned before, I multiply this recipe to stock up in the freezer.  So if you like making large batches, then individually wrap them in plastic and freeze, then put in a box in the freezer so that they won’t get crushed , if you are like me you have too much stuff in your freezer so it becomes a challenge to pack things up neatly .  This recipe is great with a nice cold Jamaican beer! Enjoy

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