Curried Jamaican Beef Patties aka Curried Jamaican Empanadas

Curried Jamaican Beef Patties


Curried Jamaican Beef Patties

Well, hello there friends.  I’ve been cooking my brains out, and what do I have to show for it?  Some great recipes, terrible photos, and five extra pounds.  What can I say?  Pastry has been calling my name.  So, not only have I made some delicious savory recipes, I’ve been enveloping them in pastry.  What is life without a little butter, right?  It’s not like I live somewhere, where one wears a bathing suit almost every day, right?  Ha and oy.

These Jamaican beef patties are quite tasty; they’re worth the calories you’ll inflict on your beach body.  They aren’t as simple as you’d hope for a weeknight, but they’re doable and the steps aren’t actually challenging.  When I make these again I’ll make them on the weekend and reheat for a quick mid-week meal.  They’d also be great as a party appetizer and I wouldn’t hesitate to make these for a cocktail party or heavy appetizer, light entree get together affair.

The patties are really empanadas, there’s no making a patty with the meat.  They use Jamaican curry and Pickapeppa sauce….. now the Pickapeppa sauce is easy enough to find at the grocery store, but the curry I had to order online.  That being said, I really believe you could use Indian curry powder here with equally fantastic results.

Curried Jamaican Beef Pattie Dough

The dough itself is remarkably easy to make….. it calls for two sticks of butter…. but don’t worry, there will be other people to help you eat it after it’s made.  It also has two tablespoons of curry powder in it, lending it tremendous flavor and a gorgeous yellow hue.  The pastry is pleasurably squishy, almost like playdough when you’re working it.  I make it sound like it shouldn’t work, but I had nothing but flaky buttery curried pastry.  Which also tells you how easy the dough is.  But, I did deviate from the original recipe in terms of procedure with it.  I broke the dough into four discs to roll out.  The original is rolled out to 1/8″ in one fell swoop – I have no idea who has a countertop that long, but it sure isn’t me.  It’s also why I used a smaller dough cutter (my French cider mug) instead of a plate.

Curried Jamaican Beef Patties

I also added in some sautéed carrots to lend some freshness and lightness to the dish.  The recipe calls for breadcrumbs to add heft and probably soak up remaining moisture.  When I tasted it, the mixture was good, but it really needed a vegetable too.  Carrots were perfect.

I serve these with roasted okra and salad to balance out the meatiness.  I did enjoy these and I don’t really love meat.

Curried Jamaican Beef Patties

Adapted from Serious Eats – I got 35 mini beef patties out of this recipe with no excess dough or beef mixture left over.  The original recipe made six large “patties”. – I found three more than enough with some sides for one person.  My husband had 4-6 with dinner.


  • For the Dough:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder, preferably Jamaican
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 pound ground beef [I used about 1.2 lbs]
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 large carrots, small dice * [original recipe doesn’t call for this]
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper minced [I used a serrano and half a fresno pepper]
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Pickapeppa or steak sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry, preferably Jamaican
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Egg wash made from 1 large egg beaten with 1/4 cup water


For the Dough:

Add flour, salt, curry powder, and butter to the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to combine (don’t just turn it on and leave it).

Whisk water, vinegar, and egg together in a small bowl. Add it to flour mixture and pulse until a ball of dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  [I made some of the dough the next day with no issues.]

For the Filling:

Brown ground beef in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, breaking meat into little bits. When beef is nearly cooked through, nudge meat to the side of the pan, reduce heat to medium and add onion, pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables have softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

In a different pan sauté the diced carrots until they’re soft.

Add broth, Pickapeppa sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, cayenne, curry, allspice, salt, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Add breadcrumbs and carrots and stir thoroughly.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Divide the dough into manageable pieces – I did 4 pieces, and kept the others in the fridge while I rolled a round out.  Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into 3-inch circles and place 1-1.5 tablespoons of the meat filling onto half of each round of dough. Fold dough over the filling to make a half-moon shape. Press edge with tines of a fork to seal. Brush the dough with egg wash. [The original recipe says to use the egg wash to seal the patties, but I found I could just pinch it together with no ill effects.  If you don’t overstuff, it shouldn’t be a problem.]

**I did re-roll scraps of dough to use both the dough and beef mixture all up.

Set patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until dough is golden brown and cooked through, about for 25 to 35 minutes. [Mine took 30 minutes.] Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  I liked serving these with extra Pickapeppa sauce to dip.


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