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Your Secret For Perfect Jamaican Beef Patties Is An Empanada Maker

Jamaican beef patties with scotch bonnets
Jamaican beef patties with scotch bonnets - Blurr/Getty Images

Equipped with such a rich cuisine, Jamaica is known for its oxtail, curry goat, and most notably, flavor-packed jerk chicken. While we certainly can't get enough of these, beef patties are one of our favorite Jamaican dishes. The export features spiced ground beef wrapped up in a luscious crust and baked to perfection. For an easy way to recreate the pasty at home, use an empanada maker.

Making Jamaican beef patties is a high art; it's one thing to get the flavor right but another to get them to look right, too. Shaped like a half-moon with ridges along the curved edge, they're difficult to recreate by hand when you're just starting out. To make things easier, a hand-held empanada maker is your best bet. The device creates uniform beef patties, making them the right size and shape each time. It's also a great time-saver since it cuts out the shapes with ease and folds them for you.

Once you've rolled out your dough, open up the empanada maker and use it to cut out a circle that will fit perfectly onto the device. Scoop the filling and drop it onto the dough. With a basting brush, swipe some water onto the edges to seal them together when the beef patty closes. Use the handles of the empanada maker to press the patty together and repeat the process until you're done.

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Read more: Tips You Need When Cooking With Ground Beef

Follow These Tips When Using The Empanada Maker

Whole and sliced Jamaican beef patties
Whole and sliced Jamaican beef patties - Ezume Images/Shutterstock

When assembling your beef patty, make sure to drop it directly into the center of the dough. Both sides of the dough are meant to meet when they're pressed together, but if there's a large concentration of meat on one side, the filling will end up oozing out of the sides. You should also work with a smaller amount of dough rather than trying to fill it up, as this can cause it to open up in the oven.

Not pressing the dough together long enough can also lead to the patty opening up while cooking. While the egg wash prior to baking is meant to act as a sealant, closing the patty well should be the first line of defense. Give the patty a firm press for about five seconds to properly seal the dough together.

For the filling itself, if you're adding any extra ingredients, mince or crush them until they're smaller in size than the ground beef. With only a small amount of space to fit onto the dough, you want to make sure that you're getting more beef than anything else. With recipes that call for onions, carrots, or potatoes, shred or dice them into a smaller size so they don't overwhelm the patty.

Read the original article on Tasting Table