Golden Jamaican Patties

Jamaican Patties are lovely little golden pastry parcels. We make them with beef or vegetarian filling. Serve them with a citrus salad for a surprising summer lunch. Great for BBQ’s because you can make them a couple of hours in advance and serve them at ambient temperature. They also make a great vegetarian option. By changing the pastry to use an oil rather than butter they could also be vegan.
The filling should be quite spicy but you can vary this according to your preference or audience.
Serve it with an orange salad and citrus dressing.
The Jamaican Patties are best served warm or ambient temperature. Don’t serve them hot, straight from the oven, or cold straight from the fridge.

Pastry

I find I can get 8 Jamaican patties from this quantity of pastry. I use a circular dish to cut the pastry rounds for each pattie and it is 13cm in diameter, and I find this is a good medium size. The filling quantities will do about 8 or 16 patties. I often make double the filling and freeze it. That saves me making filling on a second run; I just need to make the pastry.

Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1½ tbsp curry powder, yes, plenty curry powder
  • ½ tbsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • pinch salt
  • 165g unsalted cold, refrigerated butter
  • About 90ml of cold water
  • some beaten egg for glazing

Method

  1. Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl
  2. Cube the butter into 1cm cubes while still cold, and add to the flour
  3. Either use a food processor or a Kitchenaid, or your fingers, to rub the butter into the flour till it is like sand.
  4. Gradually add as much of the cold water as you need, till the pastry comes together
  5. Work it briefly with your hands into a ball, wrap it in cling film, and then refrigerate to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Beef Filling (About 8 patties)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 300g minced beef
  • 125ml beef stock (or veg stock if you want)
  • 1 tsp molasses sugar (some brown sugar will be fine)
  • 1 tsp scotch bonnet hot sauce or other chillies to make it as hot as you prefer.
  • 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs (so the filling is not liquid at the end)
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a medium pot soften the onion in the oil till properly soft.
  2. Add the garlic, curry powder, garam masala, chives and thyme.
  3. If using fresh chillies add them at this stage.
  4. Turn down the heat or turn it off while you brown the mince
  5. Use a suitable frying pan. I use non-stick and don’t add oil. Add the mince in batches and properly brown it. Much of the liquid will be cooked off and some faint caramelisation is good for the flavour.
  6. Add the browned mince to the cooking pot
  7. Add the sugar and stock, salt and pepper, and simmer for 8-10 minutes
  8. Add the breadcrumbs in spoonfuls until all the liquid is gone and the mixture looks thick enough to fill patties.
  9. Taste to check the seasoning
  10. Allow the mixture to cool before filling patties

Jamaican Patties Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C fan.
  2. Roll the pastry to about 3mm thick. For ease, I do this on some greaseproof paper.
  3. Cut out circles about 13cm in diameter. You should get about 8.
  4. Spoon a generous couple of dessert spoonfuls of filling in the middle of each circle.
  5. Dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of the pastry.
  6. Fold it over to make a semi-circular parcel. Press it together gently with your fingers or use a fork.
  7. The patties should be generously filled with no “air” gaps in them.
  8. Arrange them on baking sheets
  9. Brush with beaten egg and bake for about 20 minutes until golden

Vegetarian Filling (About 16 patties)

You can change the vegetables based on what you have around. Butternut Squash could be sweet potato. Remember that the Jamaican patties will be cooked in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. So some quick cooking vegetables, like the fine beans below, really don’t need much advance cooking as they will cook with the pattie.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Butternut squash
  • 2 sweet pointed red peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped finely
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 125ml vegetable stock (I use Marigold boullion)
  • 1 tsp scotch bonnet hot sauce or other chillies to make it as hot as you prefer.
  • 200g fine beans cut into 1-1.5cm pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs (so the filling is not liquid at the end)
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan
  2. Peel and cube the butternut squash into 1cm cubes. Add them to a bowl with a little oil and mix them up to coat them.
  3. Spread the squash on a baking sheet (you may need 2) and roast for 20 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium pot soften the onion and carrot in the oil till properly soft.
  5. Use a blowtorch to blacken the skin of the red peppers (I do this on the stovetop in a frying pan)
  6. Place them in a bowl with some clingfilm to seal it for 5 minutes. The skin will now scrape off.
  7. Remove the stalk and seeds and cut into 1-1.5cm squares.
  8. When the squash is ready and comes out the oven I usually blast the pieces with my blowtorch to caramelise the edges but this isn’t essential.
  9. Keep the cooled pepper and squash to the side
  10. Add the garlic, curry powder, garam masala, chives and thyme to the softened onions
  11. If using fresh chillies add them at this stage. Cook gently for a few minutes.
  12. Add the stock, salt and pepper, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Use more stalk if you need.
  13. Add the squash, peppers, and fine beans, there’s no need to cook more as they will cook in the patties.
  14. Add the breadcrumbs in spoonfuls until all the liquid is gone and the mixture looks thick enough to fill patties.
  15. Taste to check the seasoning
  16. Allow the mixture to cool before filling patties