I made a batch of patties and I wanted to capture what I learned so I keep improving the recipe.
First the easy part, the filling. This is the first time I used breadcrumbs in the filling and it really works well. I also put the ground beef through the food processor. Those two things totally nailed the texture of the filling that you get in Cayman. I put the beef in a big pot to cook with the breadcrumbs for an hour. I added enough water to make it easy to stir. The pattie is not some magic device, whatever filling you put in is exactly what you will get out when its done cooking.
My crust still sucks. Its not flaky & crunchy like the Island Taste/Tortuga patties. Its sort of crumbly. I’ve had good patties like that in Cayman, they are just a different style. I think the flaky style takes some additional work like puff pastry. I think you do some rolling and folding with a sheet of butter in the middle and the result is a flaky, crispy crust.
I’ve seen a couple of recipes suggesting the use of Annatto as the coloring in the pastry. All the other ones suggest using curry powder or turmeric (the stuff that makes curry yellow). I’ve noticed that the ones I make with turmeric stain everything they touch neon yellow. That’s not something I ever noticed about the genuine article. Turmeric also adds a subtle but weird flavor and the color never really gets all that red like the real ones. So next time I’ll try to have some Annatto on hand.