Notes on Making Patties

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.



2 Responses to “Notes on Making Patties”

  1. Gravatar of Jay Jay
    29. March 2009 at 19:34

    Can’t wait for you to get this right!!! Whit and I were just talking about heading to palm bay to get some patties from Hazel’s

  2. Gravatar of Darren Darren
    29. March 2009 at 20:39

    I agree about the crust man. This is a recipe i found which probably came straight from a Caribbean cook because it’s not the best written in the world(see below). But it does involve a layer of fat and folding and rolling. I think that’s the way to go and it makes sense…

    Cold water
    2 cups of flour
    3/4 pound of fat
    1 teaspoon of salt
    1 teaspoon of lime juice
    1/2 margarine and 1/2 lard or shortening
    First blend together the 2 kinds of
    fat then divide it into four parts.
    Add one part of the fat to the flour,
    salt and the lime juice.
    Rub fat in until the whole looks like
    bread crumbs.
    Blend the 2 kinds of fat together and
    divide it into 4 parts.
    Add 1 part of the fat to flour, salt
    and the lime juice. Rub in fat until
    the whole looks like bread crumbs.
    Add enough of the cold water, to make
    a fairly soft dough. Lightly roll out
    the dough into a rectangular shape on
    a floured board.
    Place 1/4 of the fat into small parts
    or bits over the top 2/3 of pastry.
    Fold the pastry bottom to the middle
    and top to bottom. Seal the edges with
    a rolling pin.
    Turn pastry so that the fold is length
    wise on the board. Roll out again. Mark
    in thirds and repeat steps 5, 6 and 7.
    Roll out the dough for a 4th time, mark
    and fold as before but without any fat.
    Put the dough in a floured plate, cover
    and leave in the refrigerator for about
    1/2 hour so that the fat cools off. Roll
    out and shape as required.