Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jamaican Beef Patties

I've been slightly obsessed with Jamaican beef patties for the past few years. When I lived in Manhattan, I'd often buy one from a local pizzeria on my way home from work. My roommate had similar cravings so she'd get them all the time as well. Recently, I saw them in my market and I threw them in my shopping cart and the obsession flame was ablaze again.

So, I did my best to recreate the flavors of my new favorite store bought Jamaican beef patties. I failed because I have this suspicion that a combination of chemical flavorings and sodium are what made the from-the-box patties super yummy. However, the ones I made were still quite good as well so I'm sharing them.
Ingredients:
crust
2 cups flour
1 stick butter (½ cup)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cold water

filling
1 lb. ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ onion
3 cloves garlic
1 habanero pepper
2 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup beef broth

THE CRUST
Start by mixing together the dry ingredients - the flour, the turmeric, the curry powder, the salt, the baking soda, and the baking powder - until they're well combined.
Cube the butter and add to the flour. Use a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the flour until the texture is almost sandy. Leave a few big chunks of butter behind, if possible. Pour in the cold water, little by little, tossing the dough with a fork until it's all moistened.
The dough should clump together when squeezed. Knead gently by pressing the dough with the heel of the hand and folding the dough in half, again and again, to help the butter form thin layers. The thin layers of butter will help to make the dough flaky. Once the dough comes together, wrap it in plastic and stick it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
THE FILLING
Add the garlic, onions, and habanero to a food processor and pulse until well pureed.
Heat up a skillet with a little oil. Add in the ground beef and cook until browned. Then, add in the onion puree - juice and all - and cook until that pungent onion smell is cooked out.
Add in the thyme, salt and pepper, turmeric, cumin, and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Add in the breadcrumbs.
Pour in the broth and stir. Cook for about 10 minutes until some of the broth has evaporated. The texture of the filling should be crumbly but still moist.
Let the filling cool.
THE ASSEMBLY
Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll out the dough into a rounded rectangular shape. Place a good amount of filling on one half, wet the edge of the dough with a bit of water, fold the dough over, and seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges.
The patties can be frozen at this stage. Or, they can be baked at 375F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the dough is lightly browned. The frozen patties can be baked the same way.
The finished patties will look a little something like this:
The crust should be flaky and tender and the filling should be spicy in two ways - lots of heat from the habanero and lots of flavor from the cumin and turmeric.
Yum!
Here's the recipe page:

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