Jamaica Me Crazy

About this time of year I’m so sick of winter I could scream.  Given the horrific blizzard we had a few weeks ago that feeling has multiplied exponentially.  Add to this a little homesickness and a craving for some quality mommy time (yes, I still say mommy) and the normal dream of garden beauty or plans for family vacations aren’t enough to get me out of my doldrums.  Today I need the dreams of warmer weather AND some homey comfort.  The answer was to whip up a batch of Jamaican Meat Patties.

Now just to clarify my family is not Jamaican (Liberian actually).  Nor do my parents make these from scratch, but for as long as I can remember these have always been a staple in their home.  Now when we all gather from our various corners of the world you can find us, no matter the age, popping one of these in the microwave for a quick snack night or day.  And you can be certain that once others smell the goodness they’ll be asking for a bite or heating up their own.  It has gotten so bad my mother buys extra so we can also take them home.

So could I have searched local grocers for a pre-made version?  Sure, but I needed to immerse myself in the distraction of the process and the rewarding delight of flavors.  And the best part…I get to share with you how to create a brief, flavor-full vacay of your own.

Jamaican Meat Patties (makes about 30)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy
  • 1 habanero pepper finely diced (you can also use jalapeno)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 packages pre-made pie crust

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and saute for 5 minutes.  Add paprika, thyme and stir. Add the ground beef to pan and cook until brown, stirring to break up clumps. Add ketchup and soy sauce stir together, and then add the habanero. Sprinkle flour over ground beef, add the beef broth then stir well to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and whatever is remaining has reduced to a thick sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and let cool completely

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, curry powder and water. Set aside.

On a work surface, flatten the pie crusts and cut out squares with a knife.  Each crust should make approximately 6-8 patty shells.

Add one to two hearty tablespoons of the beef mixture onto each square. Fold over and press the edges with your fingers. Crimp the edges with a fork. You can also trim the edges to make them more uniform.  Transfer the patties to a baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown then serve.

We had ours will a tropical salad of mixed greens, mango and kiwi.  AND there will be plenty leftover for lunch this week as well.  YAY!


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