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Caribbean Recipes: Jamaican Meat Patties


This meat-filled pastry is a popular Caribbean snack food

The Caribbean menu contains many wonderful recipes for pork. Processed pork sausage is called boudin. While many Caribbean foods are hot and spicy, here is one recipe that does not require peppers.

Meat patties, made of pork and beef, are a popular snack. They are the Jamaican version of the Spanish empanada and do not call for peppers (although you can add your own, if you wish). Adjust the spices to suit your own tastes.

The pastry recipe is included here, but you can also use refrigerated (canned) pastry dough to save time. Adjust the size of the rolled-out dough pieces for meal-size, snack-size, and for appetizers.

Pastry:
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup shortening
½ cup ice water

Filling:
½ pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (reduce or eliminate)
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup bread crumbs (slightly dried)
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons oil

Pastry prep:
-Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
-Add shortening and butter. Mix should be at a crumbly stage.
-Add water slowly until dough becomes soft and workable.
-Form into a ball and flatten slightly.
-Wrap in plastic and chill for about an hour.

When ready to cook:
-Divide dough (up to 16 pieces) and form each into a ball
- Roll out each ball to make a circle


Filling Prep:
-Heat oil and saute onions, scallions, garlic, and cayenne until softened - about 4 minutes and set aside
-Brown meat and drain fat
-Return first ingredients to skillet and add the rest of the spices
-Cook for about 3 minutes and add water.
-Bring to a boil and add bread crumbs.
-Cook until thickened and allow to cool.

Final prep:
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Brush inside edges of pasty with water.
-Place 2 heaping Tablespoons of meat mixture in center of pastry
-Fold pastry over so edges meet
-Press edges together with a fork
-Prick top of pastry with fork
-Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp

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