Jamaican Beef Patties Recipe

When I was in my early teens, I developed a wicked fondness for Jamaican Beef patties. They were my standard “forgot to eat lunch, stop by a gas station” go-to food, they were the perfect accompaniment for the traditional daily Slurpee (Winnipeggers know what I mean!), and they were just… my perfect comfort food.

At some points in the year, I was able to get my hands on a fresher, more authentic version of my beloved gas station food – during Folklorma, for instance. Man, Folklorama was the best festival ever – haven’t gone in several years, and I STILL think it’s the best I’ve been to / heard of! All of the different cultural organizations set up a “pavilion” – usually a community center or curling rink – to be just this mecca of all-things-that-culture.

Attendees buy “passports”, and visit the various pavilions, experiencing all kinds of wonderful food, art, and performances from that culture. It’s just this big multicultural smorgasbord, and I loved it. Folklorama is also responsible for my love of Haggis… ah, I loved the Scottish Pavilion!

Anyway. Beef Patties. I was pretty disappointed when I realized that beef patties were NOWHERE to be found in Minnesota.

When I went on my pie making rampage the other week, I decided to try making my own beef patties. I looked online to see if there were any existing recipes for what *I* knew as beef patties, and ended up pretty disappointed. Overall, I could tell that none of the recipes I found would result in the right texture – kind of a creamy, pasty meat filling, NOT just regular ground beef texture – or the right spice profile.

So, of course, I created a recipe from scratch. Well, it’s more of a frankenrecipe – I bastardized my uncle’s pie crust recipe, converting it to a savory recipe with the light taste / brilliant yellow hue that I expect from a Jamaican beef patty crust. Then, for the filling, I used the basic ideas from making Cretons (A recipe I’ll post eventually) – a French Canadian meat spread.

Oooh boy was it ever good. In particular, the filling was so ridiculously accurate, I’m amazed that any of it actually made it as far as being married with the crusts. I could have just eaten it all with a spoon.

This recipe is a bit of work, but so very worth it. Enjoy! (more…)