Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jamaican Patties

My husband brought Wingless Angels home last night. It was recorded at Keith Richards' home in Jamaica and is him and these amazing Rastafarian drummers from Steer Town. With only shutters on the windows of his house there, the sound of crickets chirping can be heard throughout this album -I love it! The music is so genuine and true with a predominately African sound. I'm not much of a traveler, but I do like to explore other cultures' music and of course, foods! Over the weekend (and completely unrelated to why he bought this album), I made these Jamaican Patties, a popular street food and the 'hamburger' of Jamaica.

Jamaican Patties
Adapted from Lucinda's Jamaican Kitchen by Lucinda Scala Quinn
To insure success, make both the pastry and the filling separately well ahead of when you want to assemble them, allowing time for the pastry to chill (I made the pastry first) and the filling to cool completely. It takes a bit of planning, but both pastry and filling can be made hours to days ahead, and otherwise these are very easy to make. And, here's my favorite part -they freeze well. I had planned to freeze half of these, but my people insisted on me baking them all that night, instead. Makes 16 patties, 2-3 patties per serving.

Mix: 1 lb ground goat or beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2-4 hot peppers -Jamaicans use 2 Scotch bonnet peppers, I used 4 jalapenos from the freezer!
1 t. each dried thyme, curry powder and salt
1/2 t. black pepper

Heat 2 T. canola oil in a large skillet and add meat mix. Stir and cook until the moisture evaporates and the meat browns and forms a bit of a crust (10 minutes or so).

Add 2 cups water, stirring up the browned crust from the bottom of the pan. Stir in 1/2 c. bread crumbs to make a stew-like consistency. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Remove lid and allow to cool completely.

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. curry powder

Cut in:
1/4 c. vegetable shortening or lard (or all butter)
1/4 c. butter (or all vegetable shortening or lard)
Add 3/4 c. cold water, mix in and knead to hold together, but work as little as possible. Form two disks, wrap each in cling wrap, and chill 1 hour to 5 days.

To prepare patties, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each disk into eighths, form 8 balls, and make patties one at a time. Roll each into an elongated circle. Spoon cooled filling onto one side, leaving room to fold over and seal edge. Moisten edge and crimp with a fork to seal.

Brush patties with 1 egg beaten with 1 t. water before freezing or baking. Oops! -I forgot to do this step! Ours were great without, but I think they would brown a bit better with an egg wash and will try and remember next time.

Place on a cookie sheet, eight fit nicely on one of my sheets, and then repeat with the second disk. OR cover with plastic wrap to freeze filled patties at this point, and then simply cook the frozen patties without defrosting. Bake patties at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. I served these with Jamaican Red Stripe beer and a large fruit salad, but red beans and rice would also be very good.

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