Monthly Archives: October 2012

Guyanese Beef Patties

I finally had a weekend with nothing planned so I hopped into my car and drove to Brooklyn to spend some time with my Aunt Jean. Aunt Jean is my Dad’s oldest sister and her 70th birthday bash was the inspiration behind this blog. She is hip and fabulous and always a joy to be around!

I love visiting her because I get to relax and enjoy her tasty Guyanese dishes. There was no relaxing for me this time around.  Shortly after I arrived we got busy making Guyanese patties accompanied by some soca music playing from a random music station that can only be picked up in Brooklyn.

She was amused at my attempts to get the recipe down because I had to make sure we measured EVERYTHING! She mentioned to me several times how my grandmother never measured and knew exactly how much of each ingredient to add. Needless to say, I managed to get everything down and have the recipe for you below.

Guyanese patties are usually served as an appetizer or snack at almost every family gathering or large event. They are usually round in shape but you can also make them in the shape of Jamaican beef patties which have a half moon shape. They are traditionally filled with ground beef but feel free to use whatever ground meat you fancy. You can also make a vegetarian filling or add peas, mixed vegetables or potatoes to the meat filling.

For baking the patties, Aunt Jean uses what she calls a patty pan which is very similar to a shallow muffin pan. If you don’t have one on hand, no worries, a regular muffin pan will suffice and so will a cookie sheet.  


4 cups all-purpose flower
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup shortening
½ tsp salt (optional)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup iced water (may not use all)
1 ½ lbs ground beef (the leaner the better)
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp season salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp ketchup
½ tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Egg wash
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
Mix together 4 cups of flour, baking powder and salt
Add the fat and use your fingertips to rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Lift the flour while rubbing the fat in to add air to it.
Add the iced water a little at a time until the dough just comes together
Cover dough with saran wrap and refrigerate. If planning on using dough right away, cover with a clean dish cloth and put a few ice cubes on top of the cloth.
Heat a skillet
Add ground beef and cook until brown – about 10 minutes (the leaner the beef, the less fat it has. If you find that the beef has a lot of fat, remove some of the fat from the pan. Leave a little fat in the pan so that the beef can continue to cook in its own juices)
After removing most of the fat, add the onions and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes
Add remaining ingredients and let cook for another 5 minutes
Add salt and pepper to taste
If necessary, add  1 – 2 tbls of water as you don’t want the mixture to be too dry. At the same time it should not be too moist because any liquid will seep through the pastry dough
Once cooked, turn off heat and allow to cool
Putting it all together
Preheat oven to 350F
Divide dough into 3 pieces
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 1/8 of an inch thick
Using the top of a glass, cut circles into the rolled out dough (they should be 3 ½ to 4 inches in diameter)
As you are working with the dough, cover the cut circles with a clean lightly moistened dish cloth to prevent the dough from drying out. Keep the dough that you are not working with covered with the dish cloth with ice on it. Make sure the dough does not  get wet
You should end up with 48 circles which will yield 24 patties (one for the top and one for the bottom)
Line the patty/muffin pans with the circles
Fill with 1 tbls of filling
Cover with top layer
Use a fork to press the edges together and seal. Make two pricks in the center of the patties with the fork
Beat together eggs, and brush each of the patties with the egg wash
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown and ENJOY!

Pastry tips:
Handle pastry dough as little and lightly as possible
Dough should be pliable but not sticky
Use very little flour while rolling
Use ice water

Patties baked in a patty pan (shallow muffin pan)
Patties baked in a regular patty pan
Thanks for stopping by J! Before you’re on to the next one leave a comment below and connect with me on Twitter and Facebook. One Love – SapBrown.