Jamaican Beef Patties

I haven't posted a recipe in a while, and this recipe is different from my normal ones in that a) it does not include liquor, b) it's not some pseudo-Asian thing c) it's not particularly easy and d) it's not particularly good for you.  However, it is exceptionally tasty and it is good in your mouth.

So there.

RJ has been talking about these things for years - literally - since the little Jamaican restaurant that was close to his work closed a few years ago.

Sometimes it takes me a while to catch on to his subtle hints, where subtle hints equal "Will you learn how to make these?  I've only been talking about them for five years."

So, without further delay, here ya go:

Jamaican Beef Patties

[Printable Recipe]


For the filling:
1 tsp oil or butter
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small yellow or white onion, finely clopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
water (possibly)
1 small hot pepper, finely chopped.  Ok, here is what I know about hot peppers.  Scotch Bonnet peppers are traditional in this dish, but my little grocery store did not have that kind.  Imagine that.  I used Serrano instead, and that was fine, but maybe not quite spicy enough for my super spicy taste.  I would probably stay away from Jalapeno, because those have such a distinct flavor, and Cayenne may be TOO spicy... But it's up to you.  Use what you can get, what you have, or what you can grow.  Other things that I know about hot peppers is that the smaller the spicier, usually, and all the heat (aka the good stuff) is in the seeds and membranes, so don't throw that part away.  We will now resume with our normally scheduled recipe.

For the crust:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 cup cold butter, chopped
3/4 cup ice water
egg wash (1 egg and equal amount water mixed together)


For the filling:

In a heavy skillet or saucepan, heat the oil or butter, then add in the onion and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low and allow the onions to become translucent.  Now add in the ground beef, salt, pepper, thyme, and curry, and stir constantly while the beef is browning.  You want to avoid large clumps of beef, so make sure you keep stirring and stirring and stirring...  After the beef is browned and no pink remains, stir in the breadcrumbs and pour the broth in.  If the broth doesn't come to the top of the meat, fill it the rest of the way up with water.  Cover it and let it simmer on low for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.  What you are going for here is something with a paste-like consistency.  If it's too dry and crumbling, add more water.  If it's too liquidy (really, that's a word), take the cover off and turn up the heat for a few minutes.

Take it off the stove and allow it to cool.

For the crust:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Sift or wisk the flour, salt and curry powder together in a large bowl, then cut in the butter until it's crumbly.  You can use a pastry cutter, but I prefer the "squish it with my hands" method.  Now stir in the ice water until a stiff (very stiff) dough forms.  

Roll it out onto a floured surface.  You want it thick enough to hold together, but still pretty thin - maybe 1/8 of an inch or so.  Now using whatever method you prefer, cut the dough into circles about 6 inches across.  I used a bowl to press mine out, since I didn't have a cookie or biscuit cutter that big.  

Take each dough circle and plop a couple tablespoons of filling in the center, then fold them over into a half moon shape.  Seal the edges with the tines of a fork.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat...

Brush the tops of each one with the egg wash, then bake them for 25 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown.

Serve them with a Red Stripe or two - of course.

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