Since I’ve known him, James has been asking me to veganize the Jamaican patty. This is his go-to pre dinner snack when we are out and about. These bad boys have been the key to keeping us from getting hangry on the go. Most Caribbean places have a veggie-filled option, but it just isn’t the same as the traditional beef. So I just HAD to try to make it myself. Being that I am by no means a baker, it has taken me some time to grow the lady-balls to tackle this daunting task. But I eventually did, and it took me 5 hours of experimenting.
Why you ask? Well, you simply cannot have a Jamaican Patty without the perfect flaky crust. Essentially, I applied the same rules I learned about pie crusts, but added a tons of turmeric for colour. This process will require some doing, followed by some waiting, and followed by more doing—so prepare your patience, and make sure you have some tasks to do between preparation.
The meat filling is the easy part, and you can totally adjust all the ingredients to suit your own taste buds. As the beef I decided to use a store-bought vegan ground beef substitute, since it’s so readily available, and an awesome noteworthy option. If you don’t like store-bough faux meats, you an use a homemade walnut meat, or lentils instead—but it will change the taste—You’ve been warned.
To get the authentic Jamaican flavor in the patties I decided to season them with cardamom, cumin, and allspice, and since I love me some heat–a scotch bonnet pepper. This is totally optional, and if you can’t take the heat, just leave it out.
There you have it, Vegan Jamaican Patties from start to finish. The recipe seems daunting at first, but once you have nailed it the first time- it becomes easier and easier, I promise.
- 4 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup vegetable shortening (make sure it’s vegan)
- ½ cup vegan butter, cold
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 ½ Tbsp turmeric
- 1 Tbspsalt
- Vegan Beef Filling:
- 1 large onion, finely chopped (1½ cups chopped)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 pound vegan ground beef substitute
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp thyme
- 3 green onion/scallions, finely chopped
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
- 1½ tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons Jamaican rum
- almond milk or soy milk for brushing
- Sift the flour, turmeric, and salt into a large bowl. I used my stand mixer and the whisk blade.
- Using two knives, a pastry blender, or in my case my pastry blade, cut in the shortening and butter until the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Working quickly, add small amounts of water to form a firm dough. Do not over water or overwork.
- Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1½ hours or overnight.
- In a large skillet, heat butter until hot but not smoking.
- Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the veggie ground beef, turmeric, cumin, allspice, cardamom, scotch peppers, and thyme and cook until heated and spices are fragrant, about 10 minutes.
- Add the green onion/scallions, parsley, tomatoes, and vegetable stock and simmer for about 30 minutes, until most all of the liquid has evaporated.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the Jamaican rum.
- Allow the mixture to cool before assembling the patties.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry dough and cut into circles about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. I used a large cereal bowl for this.
- Lightly brush the outside edges of the circle with a little of soy or almond milk.
- Spoon roughly a ¼ cup of the vegan beef filling onto one half of the circle, and fold the other half of the pastry over so that the edges meet. Press to seal, and use a fork to crimp the edges together.
- Lightly brush the top of each patty with a little of soy milk.
- Place the patties on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately with hot sauce.