As much as I adore you– and I promise I do– I might have to sever all ties if you mention your future vacation plans to me one. more. time.
Yes, that’s right, I’m talking to you. All of you. I hate to admit it, but my stomach has been churning with jealousy lately, which is not how I prefer my stomach to feel. I would far rather it be full with exotic foods and cocktails that I would most certainly never order while out stateside, but I have shamelessly consumed despite their little paper umbrella garnishes. For the sake of my stomach and my sanity, I beg you one last time– don’t taunt me with details of your plans for Spring Break / Summer Vacation / Spontaneous Trips.
I’ve never been outside of the states, with the exception a few-hour-long stop in Canada to see the Niagara Falls as a child. As someone whose biggest goal is “to see the world”, this is not even slightly acceptable. However, my family wasn’t able to go on many vacations when I was younger, I was broke as a college student, and, well, I’ve got a lot of debts to repay as a newly-graduated-and-employed adult. Experiencing the world requires a little more money than I can find between the cushions of my couch, unfortunately.
I have tried, over the years, to soothe the sting of staying stateside through culinary exploration. I may not be able to go to Mexico, but I can find authentic Mexican restaurants and get a taste for the cuisine. Then I can attempt to recreate some of the dishes at home, you know, to keep my mind off of the fact that I’m still at home. It’s better than nothing.
As you probably have guessed already, culinary curiosity has led me to Jamaican food. My favorite thing to eat at any Jamaican take-out shack or restaurant has always been Jamaican beef patties, so naturally, as I started craving the warm Jamaican sun on my skin (and hearing others talk about their plans to actually go to Jamaica), the first thing I decided to do was to make the spicy, flaky, savory hand pies.
I wanted to try and make them easier, as most recipes I have found host a slew of complaints about how time consuming they are, or how difficult the dough is to make. Thus, the 3-Bite Jamaican Beef Patty was born.
By using frozen pastry dough and a muffin pan, the process to make these bites is far simpler, yet very rewarding. I was shocked at how close the taste of these improvised bites was to the real thing. This is a recipe I’ll definitely make again many times for get-togethers and potlucks, and I really encourage you to try it out the next time a friend
rubs in mentions an upcoming vacation. As you sink your teeth into the spicy morsels, put on some Bob Marley, keep a Caribbean cocktail at your side, and imagine you’ve got nothing in the world to do but relax. It’ll do the trick.
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped*
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup beef stock
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ cup water
- Thaw the puff pastry for 30 minutes to an hour. As it thaws, create the filling for the Patties.
- In a large pan over medium heat, add a teaspoon of oil and saute the onions and Scotch bonnet until the onions are translucent and the pepper has softened.
- Add in the beef, thyme, allspice, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Stir often and cook until the meat has browned, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the breadcrumbs and then pour the beef stock in, slowly, as you stir the mixture together. The beef mixture should become soft and moist, but not liquidy. If the mixture is not moist, add another tablespoon of beef stock or water. If it is too liquidy, add another tablespoon of breadcrumbs.
- Remove the mixture from heat and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the thawed pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface, and thin it slightly with a rolling pin. After it is stretched out, sprinkle the sheet with tumeric. Using your fingers (you may want to wear gloves, as the tumeric will stain your hands yellow), rub the tumeric over the pastry sheet. When the sheet has become evenly yellow, cut it into 12 pieces.
- Line the dough in the muffin cups, with the tumeric side facing down. Make sure to stretch them out, so there is plenty of dough hanging over. Divide the meat mixture evenly into the dough cups. The mixture should be touching the side without turmeric.
- Pull the sides of the dough up, and pinch them together well to seal the patties. Use water along the seams to help smooth them together.
- If you'd like, flip the bundles upside-down in the muffin pan so that the seams are on the bottom of the pan, and will be hidden when you serve them.
- Bake 30 minutes, or until golden.