Savoury, flaky, pastries filled with meat and spices are available in every culture, but they all have their own local twist. The Jamaican meat pie, or patty is usually made with beef and traditionally the pastry has a yellow tint from the addition of turmeric.
Though curry powder is not strictly a Jamaican patty ingredient it is an easy way to give them that desired heat. I happen to have a great hot curry powder that a family friend brings us back from India every year so my Jamaican patties had a real kick.
I made the pastry and the filling for these Jamaican patties on one day then left them to cool in the refrigerator until the next day when I assembled them. A perfect weekend project. The pies also freeze really well and are such a delicious snack to keep on hand.
Jamaican Patties(16 patties)
Adapted from FoodGeeks
In a food processor pulse together flour, baking soda, curry powder, tumeric, and salt. Cut cold shortening and butter into 1 inch pieces and sprinkle over flour mixture. Pulse mixture until the butter and shortening pieces are pea sized. With processor running drizzle in water until a soft dough forms. It doesn’t need to be a full ball, but it should stick together when pressed. Form into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, press into a disc and refrigerate for at least an hour.
In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook onion, green onions, garlic and cayenne pepper for 3 minutes or until softened. Remove everything from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Turn up heat and saute beef for 5 minutes or until no longer pink; drain off fat. Return onion mixture to pan along with curry powder, thyme, tumeric, salt and pepper; cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Pour in water; bring to a boil. Add crumbs; simmer for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened but still juicy. If the mixture gets too dry add more water. Let cool.
Start with a quarter of the dough and leave the rest in the fridge. Divide that quarter in 4 again. Roll out each piece into a 5″ circle between two well floured pieces of parchment paper. I would suggest checking halfway to make sure the dough isn’t sticking and dusting with more flour as needed.
Put two large tablespoons of filling in the bottom half of the circle leaving a one cm border around the edge. With a wet finger trace the bottom edge to wet it.
Fold the top half over and seal the edges by pinching. If the patty is uneven trim it into a half circle using a knife.
With a floured fork gently press around the edges to finish the seal. (Don’t worry if at this stage they look bumpy and uneven on the top, when they bake they will puff up and become even.)
Place on a floured piece of parchment and gently dust with a mixture of curry and turmeric.
Bake at 350F on a piece of parchment for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
Place unbaked patties on a parchment lined cookie sheet space so that they don’t touch. Cover with parchment and/or floured cling wrap. Allow to freeze for at least 12 hours but not more then 36. Remove from tray and move into freezer bags or vacuum pack as desired. When baking frozen patties they will likely need 40-50 minutes.[