Rich, spicy, primally satisfying ground beef hand pies are a street‑food staple across the Caribbean. Since plant-based meat shines when it’s layered with pungent flavors, here we create a Jamaican-inspired filling using scallions, garlic, curry powder, allspice, and chile before encasing it in golden, turmeric-infused pastry. Coconut oil makes the traditional pastry vegan-friendly. At room temperature the oil is just soft enough to pinch into small pieces that we pulse into the flour, leaving tiny pockets of fat throughout the dough. Those little pockets melt in the oven to produce a deliciously flaky crust. You’ll be glad each pie is an individual serving, because once you’ve tasted them you won’t want to share. We recommend wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands while prepping the chile; for a spicier filling, include the seeds and ribs. We prefer sweet (not hot) curry powder here. For tips on working with plant-based pie dough, see page 13.
Jamaican Meat Patties [Vegan]
For the Filling:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 12 ounces plant-based ground meat
- 12 scallions, chopped fine
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup water
For the Crust:
- 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, room temperature
- 1/2 cup ice water, plus extra as needed
For the Filling:
- Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until firm crumbles form, about 3 minutes. Stir in scallions, garlic, habanero, thyme, curry powder, allspice, and pepper and cook until scallions are softened, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in water and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and coats meat mixture, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer filling to bowl and let cool completely. (Filling can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
For the Crust:
- Process 1½ cups flour, sugar, salt, and turmeric in food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Pinch off ½-inch pieces of oil into flour mixture and pulse until sticky and dough just begins to clump, 12 to 15 pulses. (If mixture has paste-like consistency, chill in refrigerator until firm.) Redistribute dough around workbowl, add remaining 1½ cups flour, and pulse until just incorporated, 3 to 6 pulses; transfer to large bowl.
- Sprinkle ice water over top of dough; then, using rubber spatula, fold and press dough to fully incorporate water and bring dough together, being careful not to overmix. If dough doesn’t come together, add up to 2 tablespoons ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Turn out dough onto large sheet of plastic wrap and use plastic to shape into 6-inch square, smoothing any cracks. (Dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Let dough sit at room temperature to soften completely before rolling out, about 2 hours if refrigerated or 4 hours if frozen.)
To Make the Patties:
- Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces (about 7 ounces each); wrap each piece with plastic. Working with 1 piece at a time, sprinkle dough with flour and roll between 2 large sheets parchment paper into rough 11 by 9-inch rectangle (about 1/8 inch thick), with long side parallel to counter edge. (If dough cracks while rolling, allow it to soften further at room temperature, then pinch cracks closed and continue rolling. If dough becomes too soft, refrigerate briefly until chilled and set.) Remove parchment on top of dough.
- Place 2 scant 1/3-cup mounds of filling on bottom half of dough, about 4 inches apart and about 2 inches from bottom edge of dough. Flatten mounds to roughly 3-inch rounds. Brush bottom half of dough lightly with water. Fold top half of dough over filling, pressing along sides, bottom edge, and between filling to adhere. Cut between mounds and trim edges to form two 5 by 4-inch rectangles. Crimp edges with floured tines of fork to seal.
- Transfer patties to prepared sheet and bake until patties have puffed and exteriors have lightly browned, about 35 minutes. Transfer patties to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.