Jamaican Beef Patties – My Version

Notes: The patty is Jamaica’s number 1 fast food which is typically eaten for lunch. It is world famous! Adam and i would go out of our way just to get a proper beef or chicken patty. When we lived in Baltimore we would often drive up to Park Heights just to satisfy our patty craving. This version is based on a recipe written by Jill Roberts in A Hamper of Recipes from Jamaica. You can prepare the patties full size as is done here or you can create bite sized versions for a starter.

The Beef Filling…
12 Oz ground beef
2 Tablespoons oil
Sprig thyme
3 Escallions (spring onions)
1 Hot pepper (Scotch bonnet preferred, but habanero if you can’t find the scotch bonnet)
4 Slices bread
1 ½ Cups water
1 ½ Teaspoons salt
½ Teaspoons black pepper

Fry the beef with thyme until cooked through. Finely chop the hot pepper and escallion and add them to the meat. Cook the meat mixture for 5 minutes.

Tear the bread into small pieces and soak it in the water for 2 minutes. Put soaked bread into a blender and blend, add the puree salt and pepper to the meat. Cook the meat for 3 minutes, but do not let it dry out. Remove the meat filling from the heat and discard the thyme stems, let the filling cool.

The Rough Puff Pastry…
1 ½ Cups flour
6 Oz butter
½ Cups water
Juice of 1 lime

Cut the butter into 12 lumps, and add to the sifted flour. Add lime juice to the water and use this to bind the flour and butter into a lumpy dough. Patt the dough into a 6 x 12 rectangle, and fold the rectangle into thirds. Let the pastry res int he fridge for 10 minutes.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it into a a 6×14 rectangle. Fold the pastry into thirds again and let it rest in the fridge for another 10 minutes. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll into a 9×18 rectangle, fold and rest for another 10 minutes. By doing this you are building the layers into your puff pastry. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll into a 9×18 rectangle a second time, and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Now roll the pastry out to 1/8th inch thick. Cut the pastry into 6 inch rounds. Spoon meat filling into the center of the pastry round, brush with water, fold over and seal by crimping the edges with the tines of a fork.

Glaze the patty with either milk or an egg wash and bake in a preheated oven on the top shelf at 450 F for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.

This recipe should make about 10 patties or twice that number of you do smaller patties for appetizers.