Jamaican Beef Patties
For the Pastry Dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (or curry powder)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups cold vegetable shortening
1 cup ice-cold water, more if needed
For the Filling:
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup diced onions
Minced chile pepper, to taste, optional
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 cups water
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts
For the Assembly:
All-purpose flour, for the work surface
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1 large egg
Steps to Make It
Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Jamaican beef patty recipe is broken down into workable segments to help you better plan for cooking.
Make the Pastry Dough
Gather the ingredients.
Pattie dough ingredients
In a large bowl, add the flour, turmeric, salt, and vegetable shortening. Rub the shortening into the flour using your fingers until there are tiny pieces of shortening completely covered with flour and it has a sandy texture.
flour, turmeric, salt, and vegetable shortening in a bowl
Pour in 1/2 cup of the ice water and mix with your hands to bring the dough together. Keep adding ice water 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms a smooth dough.
dough in a bowl
Cut the dough into 2 large pieces. Wrap each in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Alternatively, divide the dough into 10 to 12 individual pieces—use a food scale if you want them to be the same size.
dough balls wrapped in plastic wrap
Make the Filling
Gather the ingredients.
Place the beef in a mixing bowl and season with the black pepper and allspice. Mix together and set aside.
ground beef in a bowl
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the onions and sauté until translucent.
onions cooking in a skillet
If using, add the chile pepper, garlic, and thyme. Continue to sauté for another minute, and season with salt to taste.
spices added to the onions in the pan
Add the seasoned ground beef into the pan and stir to mix, breaking up any clumps. Allow it to cook until the meat is no longer pink.
beef cooking in a skillet
Add the ketchup and taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. Pour in the water and stir.
seasoned beef with water in a pan
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and whatever is remaining has reduced to a thick sauce.
beef cooking in a pan
Fold in the green onions. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
add onions to the beef mixture in the pan
Assemble the Patties
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Flour the work surface. Unwrap 1 of the pieces of dough and roll it out into a very large circle.
rolled out patties dough
Cut out 3 circles with a bowl or dish of approximately 5 inches in diameter. If you divided the dough into 10 to 12 small balls, roll them all out into a circle of approximately 5 inches in diameter.
cut out round pieces of dough with a round form
Place about 3 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto one half of each circle. Dip a finger into 1/4 cup of the water and moisten the edges of the pastry.
filling on top of dough, edges of dough brushed with water
Fold over the other half and press to seal. With a fork, crimp the edges to close. Cut off any extra to give the patties a uniform look.
patties sealed with a fork
Place the finished patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet and continue to work until you have rolled out all of the dough and used all of the beef. Place in the fridge until ready to bake.
beef patties on a baking sheet
Beat the egg and the remaining 1 tablespoon of water together to make an egg wash. Just before adding the pans with the patties to the oven, brush the assembled patties with egg wash.
beef patties brushed with egg wash
Bake patties for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Enjoy warm.
baked Jamaican Beef Patties on a baking sheet
How to Seal Pastry
Here are two ways of sealing the patties to make them look beautiful:
To create an edge using a fork, simply press down on the edge, using the tines of a fork. This seals the dough together and adds a homey decorative pattern around the edges. This is a great method if you are looking to get kids involved.