I can seldom resist the temptation to tamper with a recipe, even when it's one as delicious -sounding as Templar's Jamaican Beef Patties. In my defence, the only thing that persuaded me to vary the recipe was the knowledge that, lurking in the depths of my freezer, were some little containers of Palle's wonderful homemade jerk sauce, carefully saved from the last Caribbean dinner we had. How could I resist? Much of the seasoning in the recipe immediately fell aside as I gleefully poured about a cup of reserved jerk sauce into the beef and onion mixture. I did add a fresh jalapeno, as well - so between the habaneros in the jerk and the whole (seeds and all) jalapeno that I blitzed with the bread crumbs, there's a certain spicy quality about them that would probably seriously harm some of my more heat-wary friends.
I made a half-batch, as I only had one pound of ground beef at hand, so I also halved the dough recipe, whirring it up in my food processor in almost no time. I did use a little less water than called for - I always like to go a bit scant on the liquid, to prevent toughness. I've never used the processor to make pastry before, and I was quite impressed with the results. Tender, even a little flaky. Viva la "pulse" function!
I divided the dough into twelve pieces, and rolled each out out to roughly hand-sized, as directed. The dough is full of curry powder, giving it a lovely flecked appearance and a yellow hue from the turmeric (the latest and greatest cancer-fighting food, you know). It does take a bit of time to roll out a dozen pastries - thirteen, all told, when I re-rolled the cut scraps into an extra, slightly large patty. I was glad that the dough took so little effort to make, since the rolling took longer than I had thought. Each patty is about the size of a samosa, excluding the last one, which is more along the size of the ones you can buy from shops in this neck of the woods. I had a little filling left over, since I didn't want to risk exploding pastries, and that has been tucked into the fridge to be made into a feisty pasta sauce later in the week.
The proof is in the tasting, of course, at the end of it. Happily, they were delicious! I will have to make them again, of course, using the proper seasonings - just to see how they turn out. But I was happy to have a couple for dinner, and I plan to freeze any that don't get wolfed down in the next day or two. I've just added a new entry into my collection of freezer treasures - little homemade gems that are an absolute delight to pull out when one is short on time and in need of a quick, tasty supper.