When you think about it, the Jamaican Patties really is the perfect Super Bowl food. It can be eaten with one hand while you drink beer with the other hand, it’s got a spicy kick to it, and the filling is made primarily of meat. What more could you want from Super Bowl Food?
This Jamaican Patties recipe is flaky yet still has a chewy bite to it. For this recipe I used ground beef, but you can also use ground chicken. The dough is thick enough to handle the moist filling yet thin enough not to overpower the flavor of the meat and spice inside. The secret…a technique called Fraisage. This is a pastry-making technique where you basically smear the butter into the dough with the heel of your hand, creating alternating layers of butter and dough. The result is a super flaky crust. It’s actually a really simple technique with excellent results.
Delicious Jamaican Patties
TO MAKE THE DOUGH:
- 2 cups all purpose flour (plain flour Australia and UK) - white flour
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons butter - or 1 1/2 sticks, cold, unsalted
- ½ cup water - ice water
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
- 1 small white onion - minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound ground chicken (minced chicken) - or beef
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder (chilli powder in British English)
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ cup chicken stock (chicken broth or chicken bouillon) - or beef stock
- ¼ cup water
- 1 pinch salt - to taste
- Whisk together the turmeric, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter while it’s still cold into tablespoon-size pieces and drop into the flour. Using your fingers, break up the butter in the flour until it resembles pea-sized pieces. Mix the ice water with a wooden spoon until a very shaggy dough forms. You will still have big lumps of butter and lots of unincorporated flour. Dump the whole thing out on the counter and, using the heel of your hand, drag a portion of the dough from one end of the pile to the opposite end. Repeat this procedure until a dough forms. At this point, you should not have any big lumps of butter, and the dough will be smooth and uniform. Use plastic wrap to wrap the dough and refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-size skillet. Then, add the onion and pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes, often stirring until they soften. Next, add the ground chicken or beef and the thyme, chili powder and rosemary—Brown the meat for about 10 minutes until it is no longer pink. Add the stock and water, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the liquid is reduced to a sauce.
- Divide the dough, re-warp one half in plastic and return to the fridge. Place the other half on a floured surface and roll out to 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a 5-inch diameter round cutter (I used an upside-down bowl), cut out 4 circles. Place 2 scant tablespoons of filling on one half of the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border near the edge. Using your fingertip, moisten the edge with a bit of water, fold the dough over and seal with a fork. Repeat the procedure with the second half of the dough.
- At this point, you can freeze the patties if you are making them ahead. Place them on a baking sheet and stick them in the freezer for about half an hour. When they are frozen enough to hold their shape and not stick together, place them in a single layer in a large freezer bag. When you are ready to bake, simply place the frozen patties in a 350ºF oven for about 40 minutes.
- If you are cooking them the right way, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cook the patties on an ungreased baking sheet for 22-25 minutes. Serve hot.