When in Northern Manitoba, I like to cook up a storm and leave my brother's deep freeze filled with homemade goodies.
Up to now I have made a couple of lasagne ready to be baked in the oven, 7 dozen of pyrohy, Irish Stew and Banana Nut Loaf.
Today, I made Jamaican Patties! What makes these savoury Turnovers Jamaican? I would think that the specific spices in the filling and also in the pastry.
The regular pastry recipe was mixed up, 2 cups of al purpose flour and 2/3cup lard/shortening. Since there was no pastry blender, I used the method my Mom used to blend her pastry, two knives held together. You can also do this by hand. Mix the mixture until the lard is the size of oatmeal and all through the flour. Recipes use to call for 7 tablespoons of icy cold water. Which I used to do very carefully and find the dough did not come together into a soft ball and the pastry was tough as I over worked it. My Mom laughed the first time she saw me doing pastry. Her pastry dough rolled out quickly as she was able to lift all of the dough without it breaking to put into the pie plate.
Over the years, I have added more lard to the 2 cups of flour and also more water until the dough comes together into a soft ball.
Since the spices where limited in the kitchen cupboard, I went with what was available.
Curry powder along with cayenne was used in the pastry mix. Usually Turmeric and curry Powder are used for a gorgeous colored and tasty pastry. To me, Jamaican cuisine always has allspice in it's food for a very distinct taste. According to a former student of mine, Jamaican allspice is very different from allspice I can buy here in Canada.
For the meat filling, I used local minced pork and added cumin, chill flakes and curry powder. My husband finely chopped the onion and celery, which was also added to the mixture. The freshness of the ground pork was delicious in the patties. The celery added a lovely crunch to the filling.
These patties where served with curried yogurt. Curry powder to taste was dded to plain yogurt.