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Flaky Jamaican Beef Patties, Food Gypsy

Flaky Jamaican Beef Patties

Buttery, delicious, and packed with a curry-spiced beef filling wrapped in a yellow, flakey pastry – Jamaican Beef Patties are pure Caribbean flavour – that fits in your hand.

Let’s take a little trip to Jamaica in the kitchen, shall we?! Spent a couple of months adjusting and trialing recipes and this is the final result. Jamaican Beef Patties that are incredibly flaky on the outside and moist and spicy on the inside – without scorching your taste buds.

Jamaican Patties, Spices.

Taste of the Caribbean

Jamaican Beef Patties are a savoury pastry borrowing from the cooking traditions of Africa and India with a hint of English Cornish pastry thrown in.  It’s a meal on the go.  Big enough to satiate a mid-day appetite, small enough to grab and go.

That signature yellow pastry comes from a liberal amount of curry powder, turmeric, and sometimes annatto.  In this recipe we’re using a lard/butter pastry which is a) traditional and b) holds extraordinarily well – making for perfect savoury little hand pies.

Jamaican Beef Patty Mix

Authentic Influence

In sleuthing out great Jamaican flavour I came across a couple of amazing cooks with Caribbean roots that I highly recommend; the talented April at Whisk it Real Gud, (whose yellow patty dough is terrific) and for full-on tutorial video pop over to Deddy’s Kitchen on YouTube (his recipe is a full butter-based pastry, but the principles are the same).

Flaky Jamaican Beef Patty Recipe, Food GypsyIn Praise of Soft Dough

Be forwarded, this deviates slightly from my “Easy Delicious” recipe focus.  While it’s delicious (amazingly so), this recipe can be a bit taxing for beginners.  For one thing, that spectacular yellow dough is incredibly soft, so it can be a bit trying. (Think of it as a challenge!)  Hot tip: keeping the dough as cold as possible really helps to make it manageable and easier to work.

Labour & Love

The shots above were my first batch, a bit rough around the edges. By the third batch (top shot), my Jamaican Beef Patties were looking TERRIFIC.  Nice half-moon shaped, the fork marks evenly spaced, good colour and beautifully even pastry.  But that took some practice.  Here’s a couple of Gypsy Kitchen tips:

  • Give yourself some extra time the first time you make something new. Read the entire recipe first. Check your ingredient list.  Try not to be too rushed.  Slow and steady makes for the best results.
  • Add your water a little bit at a time for the pastry. Start with just under half a cup, then add a drizzle at a time.
  • REST YOUR DOUGH. At a minimum, rest your Jamaican Beef Patty dough for at least an hour. Ideally, overnight.
  • Best practice: make both filling and dough the day before. Then it’s simply: divide, roll, fill, finish and bake.  Much less chance for error.
  • YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. When you’re trying something new, you’re bound to make mistakes, so, for god’s sake, cut yourself some slack. Learn.

These are so tasty, they’re pretty popular around here! Good thing Jamaican Beef Patties freeze well, or I’d have to make them once a week.

Try something new.  Spice it up!!!

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Flaky Jamaican Beef Patties, Food Gypsy

Flaky Jamaican Patties

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 Patties 1x


Flaky Jamaican Beef Patties are a savoury pastry borrowing from the cooking traditions of Africa and India with a hint of English Cornish pastry thrown in.  It’s a meal on the go.  Big enough to satiate a mid-day appetite, small enough to grab and go.




  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or turmeric)
  • 1/4 cup lard, frozen
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, frozen
  • ½1cup *or less* ICE COLD water (see notes)


  • 1 to 1.5 pounds (500 – 750g) lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks green onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 inch piece of ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, *seeds and pith removed* (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh, finely chopped)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1egg well beaten (with a dash of 35% cream, optional)



  1. In a large bowl add flour, salt, sugar, salt and curry powder and whisk to combine. Using a regular grater, grate frozen fats – lard and butter – directly into the bowl.  Scrape off any excess that sticks the grater into the bowl.
  2. Using your hands begin the press the lard and butter into the dry mix, rubbing it between your fingers to incorporate it well.  Then rub it between your hands until completely mixed, with no lumps remaining.  It should have the texture of sand.
  3. Begin adding ICE COLD water, starting with a half cup and drizzling more water from there, until your dough has come together in a nice, soft ball.  Knead lightly on a well-floured surface until smooth.
  4. Form dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap and rest/refrigerate for a minimum of one hour, preferably overnight.


  1. Start with a large pan over medium heat.  Add a healthy skim of oil then sauté your onions, as they begin to move to translucent add garlic and ginger, and cook until bubbly and fragment.
  2. Bring the temperature up to medium-high and add beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon to brown.  Immediately add chopped pepper, soy sauce, all spices and herbs, and season with salt & pepper. Cook down, browning and breaking up beef chunks as you go.  The filling should be SMOOTH, not chunky.
  3. Once meat is well-browned drain off all but approximately 2 tablespoons remaining liquid/fat.  Return pan to heat and add flour, stirring to combine well, then add bread crumbs, and stir. Immediately add water and bring it to a rapid boil before removing it from the heat. Check seasoning.  Cool to room temperature or refrigerate and use later.


  1. Preheat oven to 425⁰F (218⁰C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat egg well in a small bowl, grab your pastry brush for the egg and leave it handy.
  3. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then roll flat with a rolling pin, and cut into circles about 4-inches in diameter (I use a small bowl of guidance) on a well-floured surface.
  4. Brush a little egg around on the outer ½ inch of the edge of the pastry. Place approximately 4 tablespoons of the beef filling on one side of your pastry, on the inside of the egg wash mark. Fold the top of the dough over the filling and press lightly with the outside of your hand to make a neat seal.  Using a fork, with tips dipped in flour, crimp the edge with the tines to make the signature fluted edge.
  5. Gently move to waiting baking tray.  Remove any excess flour with a dry brush or clean towel.  Assemble the rest of your patties.  Once all are formed, brush the top of each with egg wash. Vent by piecing  3 – 5 small holes to allow steam to escape with the tip of a small knife. Bake at 425⁰F (218⁰C) for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown and the whole house smells like a Jamaican kitchen.  Serve HOT. You got this!


The heat in any spicy pepper lies in the seeds and pith (that’s the white stuff that the seeds are in.  The more you leave in, the hotter the dish.  Use caution.  Wash hands immediately, being sure to clean under nails.  Avoid touching eyes and (ahem) ‘sensitive areas’ when processing peppers.  When handling really hot peppers (Ghost & Scotch Bonnet I’m looking at you!) I recommend using latex gloves.

Ice water helps keep your pastry cold, particularly if you have warm hands.  Cold pastry = crisper, flakier pastry.

Freezing?  Freeze flat, on a baking sheet then bag.  This will ensure they don’t stick together and can be removed one at a time.

  • Prep Time: 90 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Jamaican

Cori Horton

Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.

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