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What's Cooking: Jamaican Beef Patties

Liana Robberecht, the Petroleum Club's executive chef, shares her recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties. Read more for recipe.
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Jamaican Beef Patties 

For the pastry:

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons dried turmeric

2 teaspoons salt

8 tablespoons vegetable shortening

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water

For the pastry: Sift the flour, turmeric, and salt into a large bowl. Using your fingers, 

two knives, or a pastry blender, cut in the shortening and butter until mixture resembles 

coarse crumbs. Working quickly, add only enough water to form a firm dough. Do not 

overwork pastry. Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 

hours or overnight.

For the filling:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter

1 large onion, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups chopped)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1 pound ground beef

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric 

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

¾ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon of chili flakes

½ teaspoon dried thyme

3 Green Onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup water 

¼ cup Jamaican rum

In a large skillet, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and cook until 

softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the 

ground beef, turmeric, cumin, allspice, cardamom, hot peppers, and thyme and cook 

until the beef is browned and spices are fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the scallions, 

parsley, tomatoes, and stock and simmer for about 25 minutes, until the flavors have 

come together and almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Season, to taste, with salt and 

pepper, remove from the heat and stir in the rum. Set aside to cool before assembling the 


To assemble the patties:

Flour for rolling out the dough

2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 teaspoon of rum

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry and cut into circles about 6 to 7 inches in 

diameter. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of the cooled filling onto the center of one side of 

each circle, and lightly brush the edges of the circle with a little of the beaten egg yolk 

mixture. Fold the other half of the pastry over so that the edges meet, and use a fork to 

crimp the edges together. Lightly brush the top of each patty with a little of the beaten 

egg yolk mixture. Place the patties on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until 

golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: for pairing - try light crisp beer or white wine 

Calgary Petroleum Club
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