Jamaican Beef Patties

Jamaican Patties
Hi folks BBC2 here, I hope you had a good weekend and better beginning to the week than we did! I know that Monday brings it own problems but, we had a good weekend, as BBC1 had an old friend and work colleague, and her husband, over for lunch on Sunday. I had never met them before, so seized on the opportunity to make new friends, try out some recipes on them and get instant feedback. They were great company and we had a great time swapping ‘life’ stories and cooking tales.

Anyway, I made Jamaican Patties, which I have made in the past but not put on the blog, so here goes and as always please let us know what you think…


500g/1lb minced beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas (defrosted)
50g/ 2 oz fresh bread crumbs
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 red chilli finely chopped (I de-seed it for BBC2, who doesn’t like it hot)
1 tbsp hot Jamaican curry powder (can use another make/brand)
1 tbsp tomato puree
300 ml beef stock
1 tsp dried thyme

400g/ 14oz plain flour
250g/8oz cold unsalted butter
2 tsp turmeric powder

In a large non-stick frying pan, on a medium heat, add the minced beef; I break up the mince by hand while dropping into the pan so that the strands separate, using a wooden spoon stir the mince and break up any lumps. When the minced beef is browned add the onion, chilli and garlic to sweat down for 5 minutes then add the curry powder, thyme and the tomato puree. Now slowly add the beef stock stirring to incorporate everything together, turn the heat down low and leave to simmer uncovered, stirring the mixture occasionally, after 30 minutes or so the mixture should be tender. Now adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, remove from the heat and add the fresh bread crumbs, stir in, and leave to go cold.

To make the pastry put the flour into a food processor and pulse for a second or two to aerate the flour now add the turmeric and salt and pulse again then add the cold diced butter and run the processor until you have fine bread crumbs, with the processor running slowly add the water until it comes together into a light dough, put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and softly knead the dough for a second or two to feel the texture is smooth, wrap in cling film and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Line two baking sheet/pan with greaseproof paper and pre heat the oven to 180c fan.

On a well floured surface roll out half the dough (keeping the other half in the cling film in the fridge) to about ¼ inch thick now using a bowl or saucer as a template to cut out discs of the pastry and set to one side, the size of the discs will depend on what you want, party/buffet 11.5cm/4 ¼ inc or lunch size 15cm/ 6inc.

Now using a tablespoon put the cold meat mixture into the centre of a disc of pastry, the amount of filling will depend on the size of your discs. Now brush the edge with the beaten egg, you are looking to be able to lift the edges together to meet at the top of the mound of mixture and then press the edge completely together without the filling spilling out. Remember not to over fill them!

Now lay the patties flat and using the tip of a fork crimp the edge, then place on the lined baking tray, repeat until you have used all the pastry. Brush the patties with beaten egg and pop into the pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Leave to cool in the baking tray for 5 minutes before placing them on a wire rack. These patties can be eaten hot or cold and they also freeze well.

I know it sounds like a lot of processes but its not if you break it down during the day. Making the filling in the morning takes about an hour, and 30 minutes of that is letting the filling simmer. You can make the pastry whilst it’s simmering or later on in the afternoon; 10 minutes in a food processor then left in the fridge for 20 minutes. Now you’re on the home straight to the assembly and cooking, I hope I’m not over selling these, but they are good, so please give them a try and as always please let us now what you think.

BBC1 here: I know I might be a little biased, but these patties are brilliant, and everyone who’s had them loves them. I must say that the wonderful multicultural nature of London is one of the only things we miss, apart from pie, mash and liquor! When we lived in the Eastend of London I used to organise a charity community festival each summer on a large tower block estate, and a wonderful Jamaican resident would always make these and donate them for us to sell. They sold like hot cakes! Obviously you can adjust the chili heat level to your taste, but do try them they’re delicious…honest!






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