Jamaican Beef Patties

Jamaican Beef Patties

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A simple Jamaican beef patty recipe that is a popular Caribbean appetizer among all ages.



  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 1/2 cups cold vegetable shortening (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 habanero chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Mix flour, salt, turmeric and curry powder in a large bowl. Add chilled vegetable shortening rub together with flour using your fingertips. When shortening has been chopped into small, flour-covered balls, add 1/2 cup of ice water and mix with your hands. Keep adding ice water, several tablespoons at a time, until mixture forms a slightly sticky dough. Knead for two minutes, divide in half, wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
  2. In a deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallions, onion, garlic, and habanero pepper. Cook, stirring until softened. Add paprika, allspice, and cayenne, tossing to coat vegetables. Add beef and thyme, breaking up and large pieces with a wooden spoon, and brown lightly. Add enough water to just cover meat, and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced to a sauce, about 30 minutes. Remove from meat and set aside to cool.
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove one half of dough from refrigerator and divide it in half. Roll out one half on a lightly floured surface until large enough to cut three circles, each about 6 inches across. (Use the rim of a bowl turned upside down as a guide.) Repeat with remaining dough, setting aside the circles.
  4. Place two tablespoons of filling on lower half of one circle. Dip a finger into water and moisten the edge of the dough. Fold the top half over, pulling dough over filling and pressing edge lightly with your fingers. Crimp edge with a fork and transfer to nonstick baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake about 25 minutes, until top crust is firm and golden.