Vegan Jamaican Meat Patties

posted in: Main Dishes, Recipes, Various Mains | 3
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I had a hard time getting these patties to the table. It was touch and go there for a while.
I started with some leftover cauliflower and walnut burger crumbles left over from Moussaka and this recipe from Emeril that has been in my recipe bookmarks forever.  I made the filling first and it was delicious. Then I tackled the pastry. It tackled me back and pinned me to the kitchen counter. My recipe notes read, “Used food processor… bad bad pastry. I will throw you away now. ” I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I suspect I used too much water, too little fat, and overworked the pastry dough. It was impossible to work with at room temperature and turned hard as a rock in the refrigerator.  I threw out the pastry, put the filling in the freezer, and licked my metaphorical wounds.
Pastry is just not my forte. I’ve only made one recipe that I can remember being happy with, the one I used for apple empanadas, so I turned to that one. I dropped the sugar, added curry powder, and finally, I had patties.  The quantities even matched – no leftover dough and no leftover filling.  So, this pastry dough recipe is going to be my go-to from now on.
I’m not sure how authentic these are, but they’re savory, filling and I’ll definitely make them again. If you didn’t want to use Ricki’s cauliflower and walnut burger crumbles in these, you could use a package of store bought burger crumbles or even cooked lentils (although if you choose lentils you’d want to adjust the seasonings).
Vegan Jamaican Meat Patties
Cauliflower-Walnut Burger Crumbles
1 head cauliflower, trimmed into florets, about 1-1/3 pounds after trimming
2-2/3 cups walnuts (I used 2 cups walnuts and the rest sunflower seeds
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil a large jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with sides.
Use a food processor to mince the cauliflower, nuts and garlic. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in paprika, salt, sage, thyme, olive oil and soy sauce. Spread mixture evenly on the pan. (This is easiest using two forks held in both hands upside-down.)
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn mixture over using a spatula and spread back out evenly. Bake for another 15 minutes and turn. Continue baking and turning each 15 minutes until mixture is evenly brown and mostly dry (this took me an hour total). Be careful not to over cook.
Makes about 4 cups; recipe uses 2 cups. The rest can be frozen.
Dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
7 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 – 1/3 cup water
Whisk together flour, salt and curry powder in a medium bowl. Melt coconut oil and add to flour. Blend well with a fork. Add a couple of tablespoons of water, then continue blending in water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer crumbly.  Knead the dough by hand for three to five minutes until it’s smooth.
Cover the dough and allow it to rest at room temperature for about an hour. (You can also refrigerate the dough overnight.)
Filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1/2 to 1 scotch bonnet pepper, minced (I used 3 red finger peppers, seeds and all)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon thyme
2 cups burger crumbles
2 green onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
8 ounces diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon rum
1 tablespoon water, or as needed
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and peppers and cook for a minutes. Add curry powder and thyme and cook for a minute.
Stir in burger crumbles, green onions, and tomatoes. Add salt, pepper and rum; taste and adjust seasonings. Pinch some of the filling between your fingers; if it does not hold together, add a tablespoon or two of water.
Putting the patties together:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil a baking sheet. Divide the pastry dough into eight pieces. Roll a piece into a ball with your hands and then use a rolling pin to roll the ball into a 6 to 7-inch circle. Place a rounded 1/4 cup filling in the center of the circle. Fold over and crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are just starting to brown.
Makes 8.

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3 Responses

  1. Wow. Wow. Wow!! (and I bet w/ all that heat, I might say “ow!” too!) 😉 These look AMAZING! I’ve never made empanadas with meat filling, but now I can! Yay! I’ve had the same issues with pastry. . . I can just imagine trying these out w/ a gluten-free version!! Oh, well, maybe I’ll just do an empanada casserole instead. . . ! 😀

    • Ricki, I’ll bet gluten-free pastry is quite the challenge. Empanada casserole would be delicious. Or empanada pie!

  2. I’m afraid I have to use store bought pie crust, pastry is just not my thing. I have to say these sound totally delicious!

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