Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Jamaican Patties - Beef

Being an ex-Torontonian, I have been eating Jamaican patties for a long time. Not recently, as they are a lot harder to get outside the Big Smoke. Soooo... I decided it was time to make some. Results: very good, although how authentic I really wouldn't want to say.

One or two of these is a meal by itself, unlike most of the ones available, which are more of a snack size. You could, of course, make them smaller and get more of them. Whether you do that or not, they freeze very well and reheat nicely once thawed. In the oven please; microwaved pastry gets soggy.

12 patties
2 hours - 1 hour prep time

Make the Pastry:
2 cups soft whole wheat flour
2 cups soft unbleached flour
2 tablespoons Jamaican curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup mild vegetable oil
1/3 cup soft unsalted butter
about 1/2 cup very cold water

Measure the flours and mix in the curry powder, salt and the vegetable oil. Cut the butter into chunks and rub or cut it into the flour until it is fairly evenly distributed, in small pea-sized bits.

Mix in the oil, until it is roughly distributed, then stir in the water, one half at a time, with a fork or the side of the spoon, using cutting motions. Be prepared to use a little more or less water, depending on the flour and general humidity.

When the flour is mostly moistened and the mixture is starting to hold together, dump it all out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Work it gently into a ball, picking up any dry bits and folding them in, but do not knead or overwork the dough.

When you have a rough but solid ball, wrap it in the parchment paper and set it aside to rest while you make the filling.

Make the Filling:
3 large shallots OR 1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 or 2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
600 grams (1 1/4 pounds) ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
OR 1 teaspoon rubbed dry thyme
1 tablespoon Jamaican curry powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
OR hot sauce to taste
1/2 cup water OR beef broth

Peel the shallots or onion, and chop finely. Peel and mince the garlic. Make the bread crumbs and set them aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots or onion and cook for a minute or two, until soft and translucent. Add the beef, and cook until browned through, breaking it up into fine pieces as it cooks. As it cooks, add the salt, thyme, curry and cayenne.

When there is no longer any pink, add the bread crumbs and mix them in well. Add the wateror broth, and cook for a minute or two longer, stirring well, until it is all absorbed. It mixture should be fairly moist but not sloppy. Turn off the heat and let the it cool a bit as you roll out the dough.

Fill & Bake the Patties:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion out quite thinly, and as round as you can make it. I find it best to press and pat it into as flat a circle as I can, before I actually start rolling. I also find it best to do this on a sheet of parchment paper.

Once you have a circle rolled out, take one-twelfth of the filling (about 1/4 of a cup) and place it in the middle of the circle. Fold it over and pinch it closed, pressing down the edges with the tines of a fork. Poke the top several times with the fork to allow the steam to escape. Place the prepared patty on a baking sheet, preferably also lined with parchement paper.

Continue rolling and filling the patties. Once you have 6 made, they can go into the oven to be baked for 30 minutes while you continue making the rest of them. Then bake them too for 30 minutes.

Best served warm; they can be re-heated for 15 minutes in a hot oven.

Last year at this time I made Creamy Smoked Trout Casserole.  Man, what a different summer this has been... cool and rainy! Ha ha! Sure could use some of that...


The Old-Fashioned Housewife said...

This looks amazing. I keep telling myself I need to get a recipe for a meat pie to make and keep in the freezer for my hubs when he wants something like this and now Ive got one. Thanks!

Chiara M said...

I've made these once and forgot to put in the bread crumbs. They still turned out tasty, but I think the bread crumbs probably make for the more "traditional" filling (in quotations, because I've only ever tried them out of the box!). They lack that familiar soggy pastry that the ones from my childhood had. My mom used to buy a big box labelled Tastee, and wrap two of them up in tin foil for lunch. I loved them toasted out of the freezer, but that's what you sacrifice when you make the proper pastry, I guess.

I'll definitely be making these again. They're such a great lunch, and despite the texture issues (which really aren't issues), they taste very much like the ones I'm so fond of. With local beef and ingredients I can pronounce.

Ferdzy said...

Thanks for letting me know you tried them, Chiara M. I'm glad you liked them! (and if you really do want them soggy, there is always the microwave...!)