Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jamaican Beef Patty Mon

I first had a Jamaican beef patty when I lived in Dorchester. I had never heard of such a thing, I even thought it was an actual patty, like a hamburger patty. It is not. When it arrived with the rest of my order I was pleasant surprised by this little gem, a nice flaky orange pastry and inside it was deliciously spicy beef.

Now that I no longer live in the good ol' Dot, it is almost impossible to find these babies around so sometimes I just buy them from Market Basket, usually near the breakfast sausage. They carry original and spicy hot (which is very spicy but awesome). Tonight, I just felt like making my own, since I have all of the ingredients including the Goya brand empanada discs, 10 to a pack. I like the orange kind, just because they are prettier but feel free to buy the white variety or make your own.

Also, because I am addicted to cheese and was told that the reason I am is because cheese contains opiates, I added a half slice in each turnover pastry. 

2 Tablespoons olive oil/butter
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon chopped Scotch bonnet pepper (VERY optional)
1/2 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1/2 teaspoon grocery store curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chicken stock

For the filling:

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, saute onion and Scotch bonnet peppers in oil/butter until softened. Add ground beef, curry powder, thyme, allspice, salt, and pepper. Saute, stirring often, until beef is browned and broken apart, about 10 minutes. Stir breadcrumbs and beef stock into the ground beef.

Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the meat filling in the center of each pastry circle.  Follow directions on the empanada dough package to learn how to fold over and seal with a fork. I usually brush with some oil, but you could try an egg wash too.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes until golden.

Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

PS. I did another filling which was awesome. It contained Puerto Rican sausage, ground turkey, adobo, a tomato, onion and a plantain. All cooked together and folded. The plantain gave it a nice creaminess and a slightly sweet flavor.


  1. I love Jamaican Patties and can't find any good ones since I left Florida. Never thought about making them myself. Thanks Dan!

  2. Dan I feel just like you. I never even saw or heard of them till I moved out "the good ol' Dot". I tried a frozen made one and it was really bad. Yours looks much better. I might try them again fresh. ~Brenda Z.

  3. I love Jamaican Beef patties. How much do you want to make me some!!

  4. They came out really good! Next time I will add the spice to it, but I can't use scotch bonnets, they are toooooo hot. I first saw these about 10 years ago when I moved to Boston though, and I can't believe I lived my first 20 years without them YUMMMMM.

    Brenda, they were surprisingly pretty easy! Just buy the goya empanada shells and roll each one out a bit first, stuff them, bake or fry and yum!