I recently got to spend an early afternoon learning how to make an old favorite of mine. Jamaican Beef Patties first won me over when I visited the island for the first time. The islands signature and most well known dish is jerk chicken but the patty plays an everyday roll in most locals diets. You can find the pastry's, traditionally filled with spiced ground beef, almost anywhere from the side of the road to a restaurant or the grocery store and of course bakeries too. They're quick, ready to eat and cheap and as long as you like a little kick, taste great. However the best beef patties I have ever had come from a beautiful Caucasian baker from the Bronx. Annie is her name and you may have had your soups at Toons.
A typical Jamaican lunch (chibbqking does Jamaica)
When I first tried Annie's Patties I was blown away. Never expecting that that there day I would taste the islands dancing the day away to dancehall in my mouth. Her miniature Patties came to be, not from a trip to the island, in fact Jamaica is still on her and her hubby's "to get too" list. They were made one day when she wanted to go back in time to grade school when Jamaican beef patties were served in the Bronx school cafeterias for lunch. Since she was already an amazing baker it took no time to perfect the beef patty. Lucky me! I got to learn how. Ja Live! Paaaaaty YEAH!
Pattie Dough ready to go (Please Note: Dough is best made ahead)
I have zero to little experience when it comes to baking. I've never had a big sweet tooth and it's more of a science than it is freestyle cooking. However if I get the chance to learn how to make one of my favorite treats, which includes spicy beef, then I'm willing to learn some tricks of the dough and oven trade to do so. It was actually super smooth and I may even go as far to say I could do these again without the help of the Pattie Queen, but probably not. If you have any prior experience baking and dough making you shouldn't have a problem with these top notch treats. So first up is the filling. Traditionally a spiced ground beef mixture is used and that's what I like best but the filling options are almost endless.
Ingredients for Ground Beef Filling
(Yield 75 mini Patties)
- 3 lbs ground beef
- 1 bunch of cilantro stems
- 6 stalks of green onion (finely chopped)
- 4 TBSP flour
- 1 TSP curry powder
- 1 Cup water
- 1 Cup Jerk Paste (Mild or Hot depending on preferred spice)
1) Start off by adding a little oil to the pan and then browning and draining all of the ground beef. Use a potato masher or something like a wooden spoon to crumble it into very a fine consistency.
2) When drained and crumbled add in the curry powder, cup of Jerk paste, cilantro stems, flour and then the cup of water and the green onions. Mush it all up until it blends as one and then cook it a little longer, browning it and set aside to cool once done.
Next up was the dough. this is where I had no clue what was going on but I did get my hands dirty and learned some things that will come in handy next time I'm baking up some meat filled pastries. The dough is best made ahead and left to sit in the fridge for a little bit. That's what we did and the first batch was ready to be rolled while I made the second batch with her from scratch. Lets check out a step by step look at how it was done.
Ingredients for Pattie Dough
(Yield 75 mini Patties)
- 8 Cups Flour
- 1 TBSP Curry powder
- 1 TSP Salt
- 1 pound shortening
- 3/4 to 1 Cup of Water
1 Pack Goya
1 TSP Turmeric
1) Get your hands dirty and slowly start mixing the ingredients together until you have a nice ball of dough with the right consistency. Practice makes perfect. Add the water slowly allowing yourself to see and feel the consistency as you go, you cant take any out but you can always add more. Once ready give yourself a nice little space and sprinkle the area with flour and roll your dough.
2) Start from the middle and gently roll out from each side until its nice and thin. Flip the dough over each time you roll the pin from the middle out along each side.
3) When the dough is stretched right to the point where any more and it'll pierce thru, your ready to cut it. Depending on what size you want them, take a cup or round cookie cutter and make circles of dough. Take the leftover dough and roll it together and repeat.
4) Take the beef filling which should be at room temperature and also clumpy. This ensures that none falls out when biting into them, the beef sticks together. Use a small spoon to scoop out a mini meatball size worth and place each ball into a circle of dough as seen below.
5) Next your going to take the circle of dough with beef in it and fold them over. Use water to tighten them closed and then take a fork and press down making sure there are no air holes. Its gets easy after going thru a few. Make sure they're tightened otherwise they open during baking.
Ready for the oven
6) Place your patties on a baking sheets with parchment paper and bake at 365 for 12-15 minutes (until golden brown) then serve. These make a great Super Bowl gameday snack and can be made ahead of time and reheated easily. I promise you wont have anyone that eats just one.
Please Note: Yes these will be the best beef patties you have had. I've had many and the ingredients here mold together perfectly and I love making them a little smaller so you can go thru a few. Do stay tuned, if like me, your scared of baking, you never know, a truck or store slanging these by the bag could come one day soon. Perfect munchies food.
Annie's Jamaican Beef Patties
See ya next time @chibbqking