A Jamaican beef patty is a flakey pastry that usually contains various herbs and spices mixed inside a soft, flaky crust, most often colored golden yellow with sometimes an egg-white mixture. It’s made similarly to a traditional turnover but is richer and fuller of meat. Unlike most other Caribbean dishes, it doesn’t have the typical tomatoes and onions that are characteristic of most desserts. Instead, it contains beef and vegetables.
This delicious snack is easy to make in your own home. For starters, you will need flour to make the pastry, a fork (sliced up into matchstick sized pieces), grated cheese, and curry powder to put into the flour while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Set aside in a large bowl and coat it with oil so that the mixture will easily stick to the fork. Then set your beef into the center of the bowl and turn the beef over so that the flat side faces outwards. You will want to cook the beef in its own fat, so when you finish it in the oven it will be juicy and delicious! Don’t forget the garlic, and onions, as well as your additional spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Bring your curry powder, ground pepper, and sugar together in a saucepan until they begin to boil. Once you have done that, cover the pan with water so that the flour will not burn. Allow the mixture to boil and then remove it from the heat. Carefully scoop out the prepared Jamaican beef patties onto your pastry dough.
Cut the pastry dough into two pieces, one with the meat mixture on the bottom and one with the vegetable filling on top. Place the prepared meat patties onto the vegetable filling crusts, making sure the patties are fully covered by the vegetable filling. Place the filled dough on top of the meat, press down gently into place, and then slice the pie into whatever you choose.
This dessert recipe requires you to bake the pie in the oven for a total of about twenty minutes. If you prefer you can also cook this Caribbean-inspired dish using a pressure cooker. However, if you choose to use a conventional oven or a pressure cooker simply follow these directions for perfectly baked Jamaican beef patties: brown the meat in a large skillet or pot, brown the vegetables in a medium-size saucepan over low heat, and cook the browned vegetables until they are soft.
You can further enhance the authenticity of this dish by using your saucers to scoop out the mixture. Add two to three tablespoons of black pepper and mix in the reserved flour mixture. Lower the heat to low and let the mixture cook for about fifteen minutes or until it is done. Once it is done you can serve your Jamaican beef patties with fresh cilantro and hot sauce.
There are many variations of this classic dish. For instance, some people enjoy a chicken or fish based Caribbean inspired menu that consists of goat or chicken entrails, mild onion flavored rice, cubed tomatoes with some fresh chopped salsa, shredded cheese, and a dash of chipotle pepper in the filling. Others opt for a spicier Caribbean flair by adding onions, garlic, and fresh chopped herbs such as oregano, thyme, and basil. Chicken or fish gumbo is also a popular option for those who like their food a bit more spicy.
For additional tips on how to make these tasty delights, check out my other recipes. You will not be disappointed. Enjoy!