Monday, September 24, 2012

Jamaican Beef Patties

Jamaican Beef Patties
Makes about 24 to 30 pastries
                                                                               Preparation time:  20 minutes
                                                                               Cook time:           30 minutes
                                                                               Total time:            50 minutes


dough (or use 2 packages of commercial 9-inch pie crust):

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 dash salt
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup water


2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 ½ cups ¼-inch diced potatoes
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten with ¼ teaspoon curry powder


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

cook the filling:

Par boil the diced potatoes in sufficient salted water to cover the potatoes completely.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the onions and diced potatoes and sautĂ© them until the onions are soft and translucent.  Stir in the ground beef, the  curry powder, the thyme,   salt,  black pepper, and the cayenne. Cook until beef is evenly brown, stirring constantly. Stir in beef broth and bread crumbs. Simmer until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

mix the dough and form:

In a large bowl, combine flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder, and pinch of salt.  Into those ingredients, cut in the 1/4 cup of margarine and shortening until the mixture resembles a coarse crumb.   Stir in the water until mixture comes together and forms a ball.  Shape the dough ball into a 10-inch log, and cut into 10 equal sections. Roll each section into a six inch circle (approximately 1/8 inch thick). Set aside.


One at a time, roll out each of the pie crust to about 1/8-inch thickness.  Cut the rolled out dough into as many 4 1/4-inch circles as you can, reserve the dough scraps.  Continue until all 4 9-inch crusts have been rolled out an cut into 4 ¼ -inch circles.  Gather up the dough scraps, combine them  and roll them out into a 1/8-inch sheet and cut out as many 4 ¼-inch circles as you can.  Set aside the circles of dough.

form the pastries:

Working with one of the circles of dough at a time, spoon about one tablespoon of filling into the center of the pastry circle. Fold over and press edges together, making a half circle. Using  a fork  press the edges together to seal.  Place the pastry half circle on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Continue until all the filling and pastry circles are use up.  Brush the top of each patty with the beaten egg/curry mixture.

bake the pastries:

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


Serve as an accompaniment to your favourite meal or as an hors d'ouvres accompanied by mango chutney or your favourite dipping sauce.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sweet Tomato Jam

Sweet Tomato Jam
makes 3 cups
                                                                Preparation time:  20 minutes
                                                           Cooking time:  45 minutes
                                                                     Total cook time: 1 hour 5 minutes


2  pound  plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoons honey
1 lemon, zested and juiced 
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


prepare the tomatoes:

Cut a cross in the end of each of the tomatoes.  Place the tomatoes in boiling water to blanch, about 1 minutes, you'll know the tomatoes are ready to be removed when the edges of the inscribed crosses curl up.  Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately immerse the blanched tomatoes in a pre-prepared ice bath.  One by one, peel the tomatoes and place the peeled tomatoes in a bowl.

mill the tomatoes:

Several at a time place the peeled tomatoes in a food mill positioned over a large bowl and process the tomatoes through it.  Continue to process until all the tomatoes have been processed.  Processing through a food mill will remove all the seeds.

cook the jam:

Combine the milled tomatoes, the sugar, the honey, the lemon juice and zest and the crushed red pepper flakes in large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat  and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often.   Continue simmering, uncovered,  until the mixture reaches about 220° F. on an candy thermometer or becomes thick and syrupy, about 45 minutes.

jar the jam:

Remove from the heat and place jam into sterilized jam jars and cover or use immediately.


Jam can be used as a spread for crackers, as a sandwich spread, or as an accompaniment for ham, turkey, or pork.

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