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Jamaican Beef Patties

June 14, 2010 | 68 Comments

Homemade Jamaican Beef Patty recipe (Beef Patties) made with flaky and delicious pastry and a flavorful, spicy beef filling.

Homemade Jamaican Beef Patty recipe (Beef Patties) made with flaky and delicious pastry and a flavorful, spicy beef filling. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

The Jamaican Beef Patty (Beef Patties) is a food of my childhood. My childhood evokes memories so clear to me, it’s as if they occurred yesterday. I can still remember the first time I picked up a book to read.

I was four years-old. I remember sitting alone near the door of my bedroom, attempting to read Judy Blume’s, Freckle Juice. My mom had taught me how to sound out letters from the alphabet a few weeks prior and since then, I was eager to read. After a few minutes of difficulty, without the help of my mom, the sounds from each letter on the pages of the book began to form into words. Words that inspired me to read more. Words that inspired me to appreciate literature.

Homemade Jamaican Beef Patty recipe (Beef Patties) made with flaky and delicious pastry and a flavorful, spicy beef filling. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

Nowadays, whenever I pick up a book, I cannot help but remember my first ever moments of reading, and how sophisticated my taste in literature has become. I am still puzzled as to how I went from reading books by Judy Blume, to books by William Faulkner!

Anyway, you may be wondering what my first memory of reading has to do with the Jamaican Beef Patty recipe I am sharing with you today. Well, this beef patties recipe is one that captures a memory from my past- a memory of the first time I attempted to bake something- one of the first dishes I had ever baked.

Yes, the first dish!

Why Jamaican beef patties? Well, besides the fact that a homemade beef patty always tastes amazing, and besides the fact that my aunt G and I wanted to make beef patties (did I mention she’s Jamaican?), I wanted to make something that challenged me to cook and bake at the same time. And damn, my six year-old self was freakin’ good at it!

Homemade Jamaican Beef Patty recipe (Beef Patties) made with flaky and delicious pastry and a flavorful, spicy beef filling. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

My aunt G- has one rule about Jamaican beef patties- season the meat however you’d like! I recently asked her about what she put in the beef patties we made over 12 years ago (because I wanted to keep the recipe as authentic as possible. Her reply was something along the lines of, “You can cook the filling however you’d like- there’s no set guideline as to what spices to use; and if anyone says that it’s not Jamaican enough- how would they know? The flavors of beef patties vary from store-to-store in Jamaica and as long as the stuff tastes good- that’s all that matters!”
Homemade Jamaican Beef Patty recipe (Beef Patties) made with flaky and delicious pastry and a flavorful, spicy beef filling. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

Gosh, I love that woman!

Anyway… The beef patties recipe.

My version of these amazing beef patties is to die for. The pastry itself is very flaky and doesn’t get soggy, even after you re-heat the pastries in the microwave as a midnight snack. Yes, that’s a big A+ in my book- if the pastry can withstand the torture of a microwave, I’m a very happy camper!

Homemade Jamaican Beef Patty recipe (Beef Patties) made with flaky and delicious pastry and a flavorful, spicy beef filling. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

So, what’s the secret to the very flaky pastry? Fraisage! It’s a technique used to create alternating layers of butter and dough in pastry– almost like puff pastry, simply by just smearing a shaggy mess of dough and butter, with the heel of your hand (I have seen people use dough scrapers and spatulas to perform this step, but I prefer the traditional method- the method that saves me from washing another dish!).

In addition to amazing flaky pastry, the filling in each beef patty is just as amazing and has a small kick of spice to it (it’s not that bad- I really promise!), which you will also appreciate!

So, what was the first dish that you every cooked / baked?

Homemade Jamaican Beef Patty recipe (Beef Patties) made with flaky and delicious pastry and a flavorful, spicy beef filling. | sophisticatedgourmet.com

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Yield: Makes 6 - 10

Jamaican Beef Patty Recipe

Jamaican Beef Patties Recipe| sophisticatedgourmet.com

There is nothing better than a homemade Jamaican Beef Patty. This recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties is made with a flaky and delicious pastry and a flavorful, spicy beef filling.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry Dough

  • 2 cups / 240 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of fine grain sea salt
  • ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) / 170 g butter, chilled and cubed
  • ½ cup / 120 ml ice water

Filling

  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or ¾ teaspoons fresh, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary or ½ tablespoon fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons hot sauce (can use less)
  • ½ pound / 225 g ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • ¼ cup / 45 g diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup / 40 g diced onion
  • Scant ½ cup / 120 ml water (enough just to cover the meat)

Instructions

Make the Pastry Dough:

  1. Combine the flour, turmeric powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter and flour together. When the butter is the size of chickpeas, add the ice water just until the dough comes together.
  3. Drop the dough (it will be a shaggy mess with many large chunks of butter coated in flour) onto a floured work surface.
  4. Using the palm of your hand, smear the butter and flour from one end of the pile of dough to the opposite end. Repeat this step until a structured dough forms (shouldn’t have chunks of butter showing, and it should not be a shaggy mess).
  5. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate, while you make the filling (procedure follows)

Make the Filling:

  1. Mix thyme, chili powder, rosemary and hot sauce in a small bowl. Add to the ground beef and mix.
  2. Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onions. Cook the bell peppers and onions and stir until softened, but not browned.
  3. Add the beef to the mixture, breaking up any clumps. Add enough water just to cover the meat (kamran note: I used ½ cup). Mix in salt.
  4. Simmer the meat on low for 24 minutes to ½ hour, until the meat is soft and the water has reduced to a sauce.
  5. Set meat mixture aside and cool.

Assemble & Bake the Jamaican Beef Patties:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove the disk of dough from the refrigerator, and divide it in half. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until there is enough space for 6 circles to be cut (each about 5 inches across). You may need to re-roll the scraps to make more patties.
  3. Once the filling has cooled completely, have a bowl of water and a fork on hand. Place about 1 ½ tablespoons of filling on the lower half of each circle of dough.
  4. Dip a finger into the water, and moisten the edge of the dough. Fold the top half over, pulling the dough gently. Crimp the edge with a fork, and transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Brush each pastry (optional) with an egg wash.
  6. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until top crust is firm and golden. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 392mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g

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68 Comments

51
  • Reply patricia December 18, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Loved your recipe! My boyfriend and I tried it tonight, it was delicious. My family wants me to make it for our Christmas party. Thank you for the deliciously easy recipe :)

    Here’s what we did with the extra dough: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5270537158/

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  • Reply Angie December 31, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Happy to fine this recipe really love jamacain beef patties.

  • 53
  • Reply em February 3, 2011 at 11:30 am

    i just made an 8x batch of this last night, they were very popular! it was my first time making pastry dough too, and it came out great :D

  • 54
  • Reply chefandsteward February 27, 2011 at 2:12 am

    As Jamaicans abroad, we recognize the need to start making our own Jamaican patties! This is a lovely post and really inspires us to really go for it! We should keep in touch! Will bookmark. Is there anything better than having a Jamaican aunty who cooks well?!?!?

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  • Reply jeri November 15, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Except for the turmeric this is how I make my pie crust.They make and sell pies similar to these in Louisiana and I love them.The spices used are different of course.
    My first thing to cook alone was pot roasted chicken.I was 9 and parents were gone,we 4 kids were hungry and there was a thawed chicken.I just started doing what I had seen my gramma do and I knew it better be good because I was going to be in trouble anyway for cooking.lol My parents were amazed at what I had done.I was lectured but was asked to make this dish once a week for dinner.I found what I was good at and loved it.I owe it to both my gramma’s in heaven.

  • 56
  • Reply Lynette Kleve February 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Hello there!

    I made these last night and they were delicious! I did add to the recipe some tomato paste, garlic clove and cummin. I did find the salt in the dough to be a bit strong though and will lessen that ingredient next time. I have posted about this recipe on my family website and gave you credit as the source. I hope that’s okay? I love your website, thank you!

    Sincerely,

    Lynette Kleve

    • Reply kamran February 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Lynette, love those additions! Also, for the salt in the dough- were you using fine grain sea salt or ordinary table salt? If you were using the latter, that explains why… Any who, thanks for the link love and for the lovely comments! :)

    57
  • Reply Lynette Kleve February 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Oh yes, the reason I found your website in the first place is because my neighbor asked me to do a search for a Jamaican beef pattie recipe for him.

    (((HUGS)))

  • 58
  • Reply Lynette Kleve March 3, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Hej Kamran!

    You’re welcome! Yes, I only had regular table salt….I do have some flake salt as well but I think I’ll stick to the table salt, but not add so much in next time. My neighbor made Johnny Cakes the other day and, oh my goodness they were good! :-) Have you heard of patties being made with chicken?

    Have a wonderful day!

    Lynette

  • 59
  • Reply Sam Y November 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Hi, THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this pastry recipe. I lived in Ja for a few years and was addicted to
    Tastee patties. I could never duplicate the flakiness of the crust although they came out very well and delicious. I have been trying for years to find the perfect crust and I think I just did. Just finished making a triple batch and the pastry was SO satisfyingly crispy and flaky and messy that I nearly burst into song. My hubby and kids are suitably awed.
    Can’t wait to show these off. Will be giving you tons of cred.
    A grateful patty maker.

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  • Reply Renee December 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Thanks for this great recipe. I lived in Jamaica for a year and, like one of the previous commenters, I absolutely loved Tastee patties. I always thought you couldn’t make a proper pastry without shortening/lard. I was so wrong. I love that your recipe uses real butter. The only thing I did differently was I ran the cooked meat mixture through the food processor for a couple of seconds. It gave the meat filling that smooth consistency found in authentic Jamaican beef patties (and helps it distribute evenly when you assemble the patties for a neat and even look).
    Great recipe!! A+!!!

  • 61
  • Reply celine February 13, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Hi
    I find it very hard to find the PERFECT patty. I used your pastry and my filling WOW what a combo. Even my Jamaican boyfriend loves them,went off to work with 4 of them this morning. All I can sat is perfect perfect perfect pastry.THANKS

  • 62
  • Reply Joy December 19, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    This is probably a green question, but, when you mix the ground beef with the spices, before the 24 minute sauté, should it be raw or already browned at that point?
    Thanks.

  • 63
  • Reply plasterer bristol November 17, 2015 at 2:07 am

    lovely recipe. Really tasty, thanks for sharing this.

    Simon

  • 64
  • Reply Harvey leo January 17, 2020 at 6:51 am

    It looks super delicious, thanks.

  • 65
  • Reply Laura April 26, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Hi. I want to make this, but, I am thinking it could use some sort of dipping sauce to go along with it? Do you have any suggestions?

    • Reply Kamran Siddiqi April 26, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      Laura- You can use a vinegary hot sauce like Tabasco or even a lovely flavorful one like Valentina hot sauce. If you’re looking for something a bit different, a salsa verde might be nice with this as well!

    66
  • Reply Alex Fernandez June 13, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Made these yesterday for the second time. The filling was hard to make as ingredients are scarce these days, so we settled with a simple tuna-mayo filling with cheese. Made the pastry dough exactly as the recipe said, and it was great!! Thanks for the recipe

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