Jamaican Beef Patties



Recipe Information

Total Time: 

50 minutes


12 hand pies

In Jamaica, these are as beloved as hamburgers are in the United States. Who can deny the appeal of a flaky, spiced crust filled with savory beef and veggies? This recipe makes 12 hand pies. You’ll be glad to have a few extra, since they pack well for lunches, and freeze well.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or cold, unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ice water, plus 2 to 3 tablespoons


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 large habanero peppers, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line two baking sheets with parchment. Reserve.
  2. Make the dough by mixing the flour, baking powder, turmeric and salt in a large bowl, then cut in the shortening or butter with a pastry cutter or a fork. Drizzle in ice water as you toss the flour mixture with a fork, until all the flour is moistened. Gently press the mixture together until it forms a dough.
  3. Place on a floured counter and form into an eight-inch-long log, then divide into 12 even, round pieces. Form into disks and cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out.
  4. Drizzle the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat and add the beef, onion, scallion, habanero peppers, thyme, garlic and ginger. Mix until well combined. Stir, turning and crumbling until the beef is browned and no pink remains, about five minutes. Stir in the breadcrumbs, curry powder and salt and mix well, then add ½ cup water and cover the pan. Simmer the mixture for three minutes, then uncover and stir until the pan is nearly dry. Let cool.
  5. Get a rolling pin, a cup with water and a pastry brush. Roll out each dough disk to a 6-inch oval shape. Spoon ¼ cup filling on half, leaving a ¾-inch border. Moisten the edge of the dough with water using the brush or your finger, fold the upper half of the dough over to enclose the filling and seal. Place on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, until the pastry is browned along the edges. Serve while hot.

Serving Suggestion

These patties are flavorful and spicy enough that no condiments are needed. Enjoy with a side of corn on the cob or coleslaw.

Nutritional Information

280 calories, 17 g. fat, 25 mg. cholesterol, 360 mg. sodium, 22 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. fiber, 10 g. protein