Jamaican Patties


IMG_20140826_143836[1] 26/08/2014

‘Ear me now! So this recipe came about when my friends and I went to the Caribbean Carnival in Nottingham last weekend. There was music, a parade, rides and loads of food. Jerk chicken BBQ pits covered one side of the field and the smells were awesome as you walked by. 

IMG_20140820_084007[1] IMG_20140817_212210[1] IMG_20140817_212358[1] IMG_20140817_212431[1]  

I tucked into a big tray of curried mutton, rice and peas and hardly ate for the rest of the day. Fall off the bone, tender meat in a thick curried gravy. Yum. There were patties with various fillings on offer too but I managed to resist because, I’m just going to go out there and say it, my recipe is better! I’ve made these for a Jamaican friend of mine before who has likened them to his mum’s. High praise indeed. 


The pastry has a little bit of lard for crispness and a little wholemeal flour for texture. I used lean mince so the filling remains velvety and not greasy. The filling should be lovely and juicy but not too runny or the pastry will become soggy. 


For the filling:

  • 2 Tbsp Sunflower oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece Ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 500g Lean (5% fat) beef mince
  • 3 Tbsp Medium curry powder
  • A few good twists of black pepper
  • 390g Carton of chopped tomatoes
  • 50ml Beef stock (or oxo cube)
  • A good glug of Worcestershire sauce

For the pastry:

  • 350g Plain flour
  • 100g Wholemeal flour
  • 2 Tbsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 175g Margarine, chilled
  • 50g Lard, chilled
  • 7 Tbsp Ice-cold water (approx)
  • 1 egg beaten, to glaze (optional)

How to make Jamaica Patties:

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and fry for a few minutes until softened but not browned. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the mince, curry powder and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring until the meat is browned all over. Add the tomatoes, beef stock and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for 20 minutes until the meat is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Allow to cool.
  3. To make the pastry, put the wholemeal flour, plain flour, turmeric and salt into a mixing bowl. Cut the margarine and lard into the mix using a knife then gently rub everything together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the cold water and combine until the mixture comes together. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface to a thickness of 3-5mm.
  5. Stamp out 10 rounds using a 5.5cm (2¼inch) saucer. You may need to re-roll the trimmings to make 10.
  6. Put a generous spoonful of the mince mixture on one side of the pastry round, leaving a 1cm (½inch) border around the edge. Brush edges with water, then fold the pastry over the mince. Press the edges together to seal and mark with a fork. Cut a couple of holes in the top of each patty.
  7. Lift onto a lined baking tray, brush with egg to glaze (optional) and bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is golden, the base is firm and the filling piping hot. Cool on wire racks. 

These could be frozen if you don’t plan on eating them straight away. They are fairly substantial and I always have leftovers when I make them. They keep well for a couple of days in an airtight container and are lovely warmed through in the oven for a few minutes. If freezing them, wrap in a zip-loc bag then when ready to use, wrap loosely in foil to prevent the pastry burning and bake in a 200C oven for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is piping hot.  

It would be a great idea to add some vegetables to these too. My fridge was decidedly bare by the time I got round to making these so I didn’t add any but bell peppers would work well or even peas.  


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