These Jamaican Beef Patties are the true description of deliciousness. Rich and gooey on the inside with the perfect flakey crust. Spicy or not they have got to be the best I have tasted.
Not just because I made them but because they are truly delicious and there is nothing better than homemade.
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What is the difference between the Jamaican Beef Patties and the Nigerian Meat Pies?
The first time I had a Jamaican Beef patty was from a food chain called Golden crust. That was in the early years of our sojourn in the United States. I remember saying this is just like Nigerian meat pie, why is it called beef patty?
It's indeed like our Nigerian meat pie but in terms of the general appearance of a meat filling wrapped with/in a flaky dough. In fact they taste almost the same but here are a few differences.
The Jamaican Beef patty pie crust has a yellow hue which the Nigerian meat pie doesn't and this is achieved by the addition of ground Turmeric to the dough. Turmeric is a plant from the ginger family. It's root is used in cooking both for flavor and health reasons. You can read more about Turmeric in this Wikipedia article. If you don't have Turmeric Powder on hand for this recipe, you can easily substitute with curry powder.
The second difference is the filling. Nigerian meat pie is filled with a mix of ground beef, potatoes and mixed veggies. The Jamaican Beef patty is filled with mainly ground beef.
Seeing that you love pies, you should try these Cuban empanadas next. You'll love them too.
How to make Jamaican Beef Patties.
I have observed that the Jamaican Beef patty crust is quite flaky. A lot more flaky than the crust of our Nigerian meat pie. To get that flaky texture we will combining Vegetable Shortening and butter in a 50: 50 ratio. I read from The Spruce Eats that the addition of shortening makes a pie dough very flaky. That method is what I applied here and it didn't disappoint.
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Thickening options for the filling
1. For this Jamaican Beef Patties, I used my homemade breadcrumbs to thicken the filling. If you have store bought breadcrumbs you can use it but if you don't, you can learn how to make yours from this post. It’s easy.
2. Alternatively You can use roux. ( which is a mix of butter and flour cooked together)
3. You can also mix the 1 tablespoon of flour with a little water then pour into the filling to thicken it.
How to Adapt this recipe to fit your lifestyle.
In the bid to live a healthier life, many people are following various ways of eating.
For Low Carbers / Ketoers : Swap the dough for fat head dough. Swap the breadcrumbs for some Xanthan gum.
For Vegetarians: You can swap the filling with black beans or brown lentils.
For Vegans: Swap the filling with same suggestions for vegetarians. Then swap the butter in the crust recipe for Vegan butter.
This Post May Contain Affiliate Links! Please read full disclosure here.
I hear you would be making some Jamaican beef patties.... Great!!!
- Meat pie dough press
- Rolling pin
- Parchment Paper or Silicon mat
- Kitchen Timer
- Cooling Rack
- Cookie Sheet
- Oven Mitt
Make ahead instructions for Jamaican Beef Patties.
Just like the Nigerian Meat pie, this Jamaican Beef patty can be made ahead and baked at a later date. Here is how to do it.
- Mix the dough
- Prepare the filling
- Assemble the beef patties.
- Place the assembled patties in one layer on a lined a baking sheet.
- Freeze for about 1 hr Then transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
- When ready to bake, you have 2 options, either you bake straight from the freezer at 400•F for 35 minutes or alternatively let the frozen patties thaw in the refrigerator overnight then bake at 375•F for 30-35 minutes.
Tips for recipe success
- The butter and shortening have to be cold.
- You need to use cold water or milk to mix the dough
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes to rest the dough and keep it cold.
- Work quickly when handling the dough because of the warmth from your hands.
- Make the dough first then refrigerate before you start making your filling. That way you have your dough chilling while you make the filling giving enough time for the dough to chill up and your filling to cool down.
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Jamaican Beef Patties
For the crust:
- 600 g all Purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 140 g /10 tablespoon Salted butter cold
- 140 g /10 tablespoon Shortening cold
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¾ cup cold water
- 1 egg beaten for egg wash optional skip for a completely egg free recipe.
- 1 lb Ground beef
- ½ 0 f a medium onion chopped
- 2 sprigs of green onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon curry
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon cumin optional
- ⅛ teaspoon all spice optional
- ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1 habanero pepper chopped or 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
Making the dough/crust
- In a mixing bowl, measure out the flour.
- Add the cold butter and cold shortening and blend in using your fingers or a pastry blender till it forms a mixture that looks like bread crumbs.
- Make a well in the middle of your mixture Pour in ¾ cup of cold water and mix in then sprinkle in a handful of flour to seal in the water if you find it tacky after adding the water ( it is always better to end mixing processes with flour)
- Form a ball with the Dough, wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 20 - 30 mins
- In a clean sauce pan heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and or butter sautee onions on medium low till it is soft and translucent then stir in the habanero pepper.( if using)
- Add in the beef mince breaking up into smaller bits as you cook and season to taste, cook for about 5 mins or till it's cooked through and all the pink is gone.
- Pour in the 1 cup of water, Cover pot and allow to simmer. Add the chopped green onions.
- Stir in the bread crumbs this thickens the sauce, and gives the filling that signature moist yumminess Beef Patties/ meat pies are known for... YUM!!! Turn off heat and Set aside to cool.
Assembling the Patties
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper
- Bring out dough from refrigerator. With a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into 2 equal parts to make it easier to handle.
- With a rolling pin or a clean bottle roll out one part to ⅛ inch thick then cut out a round shape with your meat pie former or a round bowl. Sprinkle some flour on a flat plate. Put the round dough on the plate make sure to sprinkle a little flour in between the dough circles to prevent sticking.
- Repeat process till all the dough is cut up into circles.
- Add about 2 tablespoon of filling at the center then fold over the filling form a semi circle then seal by pressing firmly at the edges. You can add a little water at the edges to help seal. ( if you are using the meatpie former it will help with the fold and seal and add a beautiful design at the edges. If you don't have the former, not to worry, use your fingers to seal it after folding over the filling. Then use s fork to design the edges ) Place on the baking sheet.
- Repeat above process until all the dough is used up.
- Poke the pies with a fork to create a steam outlet while baking. ( this is optional for this recipe I didn't do it )
- Add a teaspoon of water to the beaten egg then with a pastry brush, apply the egg wash on all the meat pies. ( if using )
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for about 30-35 mins.
- Let cool completely before serving.
- Your filling should have cooled down by the time you are done with your dough circles. But If your filling isn't completely cooled when your dough circles are ready. Put the dough circles back in the refrigerator to keep it cold for a few minutes while your filling cools completely.
- If you don't have breadcrumbs, you can make yours or use roux.