It’s rare for me to meet a dumpling or hand pie I’m not on good terms with. There’s something about a delicious filling inside a pocket that’s beloved by almost everyone. And, this recipe for Haitian beef patties (also known as pâté haïtien or Haitian patties) is a Caribbean legend. The flaky pastry is filled with a spiced beef mixture that is truly out of this world. These patties, which can be served for any meal or as an appetizer, are something to behold. After having tasted how good they are I had to share the recipe.
To start making this dish you’ll need to brown some ground beef along with some peppers and onions. I used jalapeño peppers but you could use part of a bell pepper for less heat or use chili peppers for more heat. A dash of ground cloves and some garlic gives the filling more flavor, as does a bit of beef bouillon. The brand I use is very dark so I added it after the beef was browned so that I could accurately gauge the doneness of the meat.
The thing that makes this dish stand out, though, is the fresh lemon juice. We often think of lemon and chicken as being a perfect pairing, but the citrus really brings the beef to a whole new level. If you don’t have lemon you could use some vinegar instead for a bit of balancing tartness.
For the pastry dough you want to make sure it’s defrosted all the way to avoid cracking before unrolling. Even being careful mine split and I just made some smaller patties from the 2 pieces. You can also use your own (no sugar) pie crust recipe if you prefer. It will be just as buttery, but it won’t look the same or have the same layers as puff pastry.
Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. They’ll all be long rectangles and that’s what you want. Then fill one half of each rectangle with the filling. Be sparing since overfilling will cause them open and leak during baking. Then add some fresh parsley and chopped green onions on top of the filing. After that brush some beaten egg all along the edges and fold over, crimping with a fork as you go.
Once these are all sealed up for the oven they don’t like to be moved from the pan. I found that the seams came apart when I shuffled them, so it’s best to have 2 pans or baking trays at the ready.
These will puff up in the oven and become golden brown on top. And, your kitchen will smell amazing while they bake.
The flavor of the peppers, the lemon, and the beef together inside a flaky pastry is truly a match made in heaven. This is family tested and approved!
Haitian Beef Patties
Makes 6 patties
30m prep time
5h 54m cook time
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/ 2 lb ground beef (75%-85% lean)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Leaves from 3 stems fresh thyme
- Dash ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons finely diced bell or 2 jalapeño peppers
- 2 tablespoons finely diced onions
- 1 teaspoon beef bouillon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 green onion
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add beef, chili flakes, garlic, salt, pepper, cloves, thyme, diced pepper, and onions. Cook until beef is just browned. Add bouillon and stir. Add lemon juice to deglaze the pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Roll out puff pastry and cut each sheet into 3 even pieces. Fill on side of pastry rectangles with beef and add some parsley and green onion on top. Do not overfill pastry as this can cause it to come open during baking.
- Use a pastry brush to run a bit of egg along the edges of each pastry rectangle. Fold over the pastry and crimp with a fork. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Recipe adapted from Savory Thoughts.