Jamaican Curried Meat Pies

Many years ago my husband was on a cruise and one of the ports was somewhere in Jamaica. He’d had these pies on the island and fell in love with them. He always spoke of them fondly so I went scouring the internet for a recipe for them.  To this day, neither he, nor I, have any idea if these taste like the pies from his early 20’s in Jamaica, but they have absolutely become his favorite meal. They take a significant amount of time to make, but they freeze and reheat well. This makes about 10 pies. To speed up the process, you can combine ahead of time the dry herbs and spices that go into the recipe at the same time and store in sandwich bag. You can also combine the wet ingredients that go into the recipe at the same time and put in a measuring cup until you are ready to use them. Before moving along, note that the crust has to sit in the refrigerator overnight, so this is a meal that has to be planned, it can not be a last minute thought for a meal.

Ingredients crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked

Ingredients filling

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Jamaican curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Directions Crust

  1. Add flour, salt, curry powder, and butter to the bowl of a food processor.

  2. Whisk water, vinegar, and egg together in a small bowl. Add it to flour mixture and pulse until a ball of dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Directions – Filling and putting together

  1. Brown ground beef in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, breaking meat into little bits. When beef is nearly cooked through, nudge meat to the side of the pan, reduce heat to medium and add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables have softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

  2. To the meat mixture in the pan, add the broth, Pickapeppa sauce, Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, cayenne, curry, allspice, salt, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaves. Add breadcrumbs and stir thoroughly.

  3. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375° F.

  4. Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into 6-inch circles (I use a pan lid that has a nice deep edge on it) and place 2 tablespoons of the meat filling onto half of each round of dough. Brush the edges of the dough with egg wash. Fold dough over the filling to make a half-moon shape. Press edge with tines of a fork to seal.

  5. Set patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until dough is golden brown and cooked through, about for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.