Jamaican Beef Patty

A NYC bodega classic that’s worth making at home.

6-8 patties

Time: 1 hr 15 mins

By Ethan Chlebowski

Every time I am in NYC, I find myself stopping by a bodega or Jamaican bakery for one of these for a mid-afternoon snack.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Dough

    • flour
      300 g3 parts
    • water
      , cold
      200 g2 parts
    • beef tallow
      , cold
      100 g1 part
    • turmeric powder
      15 g
    • curry powder
      5 g
    • sugar
      10 g
    • salt
      5 g
  • Filling

    • ground beef
      , 80/20
      450 g1 lb
    • onions
      , diced
    • carrots
      , diced
    • scotch bonnets
      , diced
    • garlic
      , minced
      2 cloves
    • curry powder
      a spoonful
    • dried thyme
      a spoonful
    • smoked paprika
      a spoonful
    • allspice
      , ground
      1/2 spoonful
    • beef bouillon paste
      a spoonfulor cube
    • salt
      to taste


Step 1: Mix & rest the dough

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry dough ingredients: flour, turmeric, curry powder, sugar, and salt.

Dice your beef tallow into small cubes (or small spoonfuls), then add to the dry mix. Use your fingers to mix the fat into the dough until it begins integrating into the flour and you have a pebbly mixture.

Add your cold water and mix until everything has just come together. You don’t really want to knead this or melt the fat, you just want everything hydrated and cohesive.

Form it into a smooth ball, wrap it with plastic wrap, and set it in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.

Step 2: Start the beef filling

Add your ground beef to a hot pan. Use a potato masher or spatula to break it up into a small, pebbly texture. There shouldn’t be any large chunks of ground beef left.

Continue the ground beef until it develops some and is cooked through. Remove the beef from the pan with a spoon into a bowl or container.

Using the same pan, add the onion, carrot, and scotch bonnet. these on medium heat, scraping to any fond from the beef as they begin to release their moisture.

  • If needed, you can help this process along with a splash of water.

Once the vegetables are softened, add in the garlic, curry powder, thyme, smoked paprika, and allspice. Stir and let those for about 30 seconds before adding the meat back in.

Step 3: Finish the beef filling

Add the reserved, cooked ground beef back into the pan along with the beef bouillon. Mix everything together until the bouillon and vegetables are evenly dispersed into the meat.

Cut off the heat. Taste and adjust with salt as needed. Remove the pan from the heat or scoop the mixture into a separate container to fill the patties.

Step 4: Roll & fill the dough

Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C. Remove your dough from the fridge.

While the oven preheats, roll out the dough and fill the patties:

  • Roll out the dough into a sheet as thin as you can go (around 1/8” or 3mm). Next, stamp out as many ~8” or 20cm circles as you can from the dough: trace your knife around a plate or lid as a guide.
  • As you cut the dough into circles, lightly dust each with flour and set aside for the filling step.
  • Any leftover dough can be rerolled and cut into remaining circles until you run out. You should be able to make 6-8 circles.

Now, you can fill each circle:

  • Add about 65g or 1/8 of the filling to one-half of a dough circle. Fold the dough over and press the edges to seal the filling in, pushing out any air as you go. It should become a perfect half-circle pouch, with a sealed edge.
  • Fold the sealed edge over itself back towards the filling, and then use a fork to crimp the folded edge all the way around.

Add the completed patty to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining beef patty dough circles and filling.

Step 5: Bake

Slide the baking sheet of filled beef patties into the preheated 400°F/204°C oven and for 15-20 minutes or until light barely starts to appear on the crust.

Remove the patties from the oven and slide them off the hot pan to cool down a bit (ideally on a wire rack). Enjoy warm.

Extra patties can be frozen and reheated in the oven until warmed through.



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