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Vernon’s Jamaican Beef Patties

Updated February 23, 2016
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Beef patties are considered a “poor man’s meal” on the island of Jamaica, but in New York, West Indian expatriates yearn for these savory pies, and a taste for the fiery beef patties has spread throughout the city. They make a perfect hors d’oeuvre (supply lots of napkins) or, with a small salad, an addictive first course.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionCocktail Party, game day

Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, hot appetizer

Dietary Considerationhors d'oeuvre, hot appetizer

Mealdinner, lunch, snack

Taste and Texturehot & spicy, meaty, savory, spiced

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 scallion, trimmed and minced
  • 1 hot chile pepper (Scotch bonnet, if possible), seeded and minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1½ cups dried bread crumbs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, butter, vegetable shortening
  • 8 to 12 tablespoons ice water

Instructions

Make the filling: Mix together the onion, scallion, hot pepper, and beef in a medium bowl.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meat mixture, breaking up the meat with a spoon, and cook until it is brown all over, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme, curry powder, salt, pepper, and ½ cup water. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Add the bread crumbs and mix well; set aside.

Make the pastry: Mix the flour with the curry powder and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture looks like small peas. Gradually add the ice water, mixing just until the pastry comes together. Gather the pastry in a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Transfer the pastry to a lightly floured board and roll out ¼ inch thick. Flour the top edge of a 2½-inch-wide drinking glass and cut out 24 circles. Roll out each circle 1/8 inch thick and about 6 inches in diameter.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the upper half of each round, then fold the bottom pastry up into a half-moon shape. Crimp the edges closed with a fork. Arrange the patties on the baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 24 patties, serves 6

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I can't believe I forgot to comment on these after I made them the first time. I've now made these twice and they are amazing! They're a lot of work, but they are totally worth it. The first time I made them I did the recipe completely as written. The second time I used ground turkey instead of beef and whole wheat flour instead of AP, which I know is not authentic but I'm trying to be healthier. In any case, both ways it was completely amazing and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone!

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