NEW YORK, NY - The Jamaican patty is a popular snack in Jamaica and has now made its way to several metropolitan cities around the world, especially where Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals live. It is a savory snack that evolved from the introduction of Cornish pastry in the Caribbean and can be found in many major stores today in the frozen section thanks to many Jamaican companies who have become rich on patties.
The baked Jamaican patty is a flakey pastry pocket that is filled with seasoned cooked ground beef or ground chicken, curried goat, ground pork or lamb or vegetables. It is often eaten with plain slice or the Jamaican hard dough bread or coco bread. Coco bread is specially made plain bread.
There are various recipes for making Jamaican Patties but mine for Jamaican beef patty follows. It makes about 10-12 patties. Enjoy!
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1tablespoon minced onion,
¼ teaspoon green thyme leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
1/8 Chopped Scotch Bonnet pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Water/beefstock/or chicken stock
In a Dutch pot or heavy skillet sauté onions, scallions and Scotch Bonnet pepper. Add the ground beef, salt, black pepper, and thyme and mix well. Brown the meat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the breadcrumbs a little at a time, stir all the ingredients well. Add water or beef or chicken stock and cook for about 15 minutes over low heat. Remove (moist) filling from the stove and cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, 11 tablespoons of it cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1: Sift the flour, curry powder. Blend together salt, and half butter cubes with your fingertips until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add 5-6 tablespoons ice water and stir gently with a fork until incorporated. (Do not overwork mixture or the pastry will get tough.) Form dough into a ball, then flatten into a rough 5-inch square. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, 30 minutes.
2: Roll out dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a rough 12- by 9-inch rectangle (1/3 inch thick). Arrange rectangle with a short side nearest you. Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into very thin slices and arrange evenly over dough.
3: Fold dough in thirds. Turn dough and roll out into a rough 12- by 9-inch rectangle (1/8 inch thick) again. Fold like a letter, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, 1hour. Let dough soften at room temperature about 30 minutes before rolling out.
4: Cut dough in circles using the size of your palm as a guide of how wide each circle should be.
5: Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling on half of each circle.
6: Moisten the edges of the dough with water and fold the dough circle over the meat filling.
7: Pinch the edges closed with a fork. Lightly brush the pastry with a mixture of egg and water.
8: Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pastry are golden brown.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president, Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD). Check out her food group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/bestfoodscaribbean/