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Jamaican Beef Patty Recipe

This baked handheld Jamaican classic has a turmeric-loaded flaky crust and a filling loaded with flavor.
Jamaican Beef Patty Recipe
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Makes 8
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 2 hours


for the filling:
1 ⅓ cups roughly chopped scallions
⅔ cup diced white onion
4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground allspice (pimento berries)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 scotch bonnet pepper (depends on how hot the pepper is), stemmed and thinly sliced
1 (¾-inch) piece peeled ginger
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pounds|907 grams ground beef
⅔ cup fresh breadcrumbs
⅔ cup|158 ml beef stock
2 tablespoons browning (burnt brown sugar)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ¾ teaspoons instant unflavored gelatin

for the crust:
4 cups all-purpose flour
7 teaspoons granulated sugar
5 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup|95 grams cold shortening
1 ½ cups|345 grams cold beef suet
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 large egg



  1. Make the filling: Combine the scallions, onion, thyme, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, all spice, garlic, peppers, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor and purée until minced.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the vegetables and cook until soft, 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook until brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs, beef stock, browning, salt, pepper, and gelatin and cook until thick, about 25 minutes. Makes 4 ½ cups.
  3. Make the dough: In a large bowl, combing the flour with the sugar, turmeric, curry powder, salt, and baking powder. Using a fork, add the shortening to the flour mixture until pea-sized crumbs form. Add the suet, taking care not to mash it. In a separate bowl, combine the vinegar and egg with ⅔ cup|150 ml ice-cold water. Using a large spoon, gradually add the liquid into the dry mixture and gently stir to form a soft dough (be careful not to over mix to break up fat). Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a soft dough is achieved. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat the oven to 375°F. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Using a rolling pin and working with one ball of dough at a time, roll each portion into a 8-inch circle. Fold the circle onto itself and repeat at least 5 times. This is creating layers in the dough to make it flaky. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.
  5. Add ⅓ cup beef filling onto each circle. Fold the circle up and over the filling and seal with the tines of a fork. Transfer the beef patties to a floured baking sheet and bake until golden and flaky, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot, or cool slightly, half lengthwise, and place a couple slices of American cheese inside. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes longer.

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