Source: http://www.creativecelebrationsmagazine.com – By Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers Bed and Breakfast
What are Jamaican patties anyway, but a country pie or turnover you can hold in your hand and eat? In the classic Jamaican tradition, use ground beef. However, I’ve always made mine with lean ground turkey, and they are delicious. I’m sure you can also substitute shrimp or a vegan mixture. Experiment away!
When I lived in Mandeville, Jamaica there was a patty stand at our high school and the aroma of the hot patties filling the courtyard at lunchtime was intoxicating. Our favorite patties at the time were Hammond’s. This was the summer of ’69 to the fall of ’73.
This recipe makes 36 patties. For you Louisiana cooks, when baked, these look like a savory version of many a country fruit turnover.
Prepare Pastry 12 hours before –
Sift 4 cups unbleached flour, 1 Tablespoon curry powder, and 1 teaspoon salt (or less, but remember that this recipe makes 36 patties). I don’t use any salt in my filling. Gradually add 1 stick cold butter (or 1/2 lb. your favorite vegan substitute) which has been cut up in small pieces, along with iced water in small amounts, until your dough hangs together. Then wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
Roll out Pastry the day of –
Remove the dough 15 minutes beforehand. Pull off a small amount. Roll out and cut into a 6″ circle. Flour the circle, stack it, and repeat. Keep going until you’ve made 36 circles. You can also stop when you have made enough for the day’s meal, re-wrap any unneeded dough, and return it to the refrigerator until you need it. It handles much like MaMa Bessie’s country pie pastry – except for the fact that it’s savory.
Prepare Filling the day of –
Finely chop 2 medium onions (any type), 1-2 stalks of green onion, and 3 hot peppers (choose your favorite). Add these vegetables to 2 lbs. of your ground beef, turkey, shrimp, or favorite vegan mixture. Once mixed well, heat the mixture, stirring, in a large covered skillet or Dutch oven, for 10 minutes. If necessary, add a small amount of oil to prevent sticking. Now add 1/2 lb. bread crumbs (best if made yourself, using whole wheat bread), 3 small bunches of fresh thyme, 4 Tablespoons of curry powder (to taste – curry mixtures differ widely). Mix well. If using ground beef, add 1 cup water. Using lean ground turkey, add 3 cups water. Finally, add finely chopped garlic. Let rest for a few minutes, then simmer for 30 minutes. Add black pepper to taste. Cool before filling your pastry circles.
After filling each pastry circle, fold it over and seal with tines of a fork. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Don’t overbake.
Some people like to eat these with a knife and fork, but I just cool them down until I can pick the patties up with my hand, and enjoy! It always brings back wonderful memories of living in Jamaica.
Three Rivers Bed and Breakfast – On a private road 8 miles from the entrance to Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers Bed and Breakfast was built in the Mediterranean style with red tile roof and 2 rooms facing the Main Fork of the Kaweah River. Each room sleeps 2-4 and is separated by a courtyard on the outside, and high ceilinged common room on the inside. Tel: (559) 561-4270 or visit www.ThreeRiversBedandBreakfast.com