National Day Of Jamaican Patties – August 6

Happy National Day of Jamaican Patties – Today, August, 6.


This recipe is both National Day of & a Heirloom.  It was passed on from my brother’s friend to my mother, then me & now to you.  These are delicious & you can substitute the ground beef for shredded chicken or turkey.

Filling (make first)

1 ½ to 2 lbs ground beef
4 tbsp oil (only needed if meat is low in fat/dry)
2 sprigs of thyme (or use dried)
6 chopped green onions, including green part
2 chopped scotch bonnet peppers (habanero, if scotch bonnet not available)
8 slices bread (whole wheat)
3 c water
1 Tbsp salt (use a little less – about ½ tbsp)
1 tsp black pepper

Fry beef and thyme (in oil, if using), about 25 minutes; drain if necessary. Add onions, peppers, spices; cook about 5 minutes. Place bread and water in blender & puree; add to meat mixture and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Do not allow to get too dry. Insert into patties.

You can add Jamaican jerk seasoning to step up the flavor. To make your own mix: 4 tbsp ground all spice; 1 tbsp dried thyme; 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp ground red pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder; 1 tsp salt; 1 crushed scotch bonnet pepper; ¼ tsp pepper.

Add to taste, use the rest as a rub on meat (1 to 1 ½ tbsp per pound of meat)


4 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 c vegetable shortening (high quality; Crisco is the only high ratio sold in stores)
2 c cold water
2 tsp ground turmeric (or Jamaican curry powder, ½ tsp & ½ tsp annatto – for coloring) (I used jerk seasoning)
1 c milk (I used only about 1/4 cup; I used almond since that is what I had on hand)

Sift flour, salt and turmeric; cut in shortening (as you would for pie crust). Mix in cold water to form firm dough (see note below) & knead for two minutes on lightly floured board. Roll 1/8” thick**. Cut into 6” rounds (a salad plate works well as a template). You can re-roll the leftover dough from around the rounds and make them square. Divide filling on rounds (don’t over fill or it’s messy). Fold over, after brushing edges with water. Seal edges well (a fork works great). Brush pastries with milk; bake on top shelf for about 25 minutes, 450 degrees until golden.

** if you want extra flakiness, brush with (melted or super soft) shortening; fold over & roll again – can do it up to 3 times.



  • I used a small bread plate & my dough was about 1/4″ thick ~ after cutting out I pressed down a bit more & mine ended up huge – definitely a 2 person serving.  I recommend rolling out the dough thin OR using a smaller item as a template (like a plastic lid or cup).
  • score lightly across the center of your circle & around the curved edge about 1/4 to 1/2 inch – put your filling in the center of the score – this will help keep from overfilling.
  • These can be frozen (after cooled) & re-heated in the microwave or oven.  I recommend allowing to thaw before re-heating.
  • DON’T add all the water at once!! It created a completely soft dough that just wasn’t workable & I had to add a whole bunch more flour to get it to work, including when I was kneading & rolling it out.  I recommend making the dough like pie crust – add a 1/2 cup & work in; add another 1/2 cup; if more is needed, start adding 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you have a workable crust.




Have you ever had Jamacian Patties before?  Comment & let me know.


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