International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Pâtés Haïtiens

Pâtés Haïtiens (Haitian puff pastry beef patties)

(Haitian puff pastry beef patties)

Image Creative Commons by Craig Dugas

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Filled with ground beef and nicely spiced, "patties" are popular with Haitians as a quick snack or meal on the go. Patés haïtiens are similar to Jamaican patties, but Haitians follow the French practice and use puff pastry instead of a short dough to make a tender, flaky crust.

Makes 12 patties

Ingredients

For the Filling

  • Oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Onion, minced -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 cloves
  • Scotch bonnet chile pepper, minced -- 1
  • Ground beef -- 1 pound
  • Water -- 1/4 cup
  • Tomato paste -- 2 tablespoons
  • Dried thyme -- 1 teaspoon
  • Ground allspice -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Parsley, finely chopped -- 2 tablespoons
  • Cilantro, finely chopped -- 2 tablespoons
  • Lime juice -- 2 tablespoons

For the Patty Crust

  • Puff pastry sheets, thawed -- 2
  • Egg -- 1
  • Water -- 1 tablespoon

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high flame. Add the onion, garlic and chile pepper and saute until the onion is cooked through and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and saute, breaking it up into small pieces, until the meat is cooked through and no pink remains.
  2. Use a spoon to remove and discard any excess fat from the pan. Stir in the water, tomato paste, thyme, allspice and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley, cilantro and lime juice. Set aside to cool.
  4. While the meat mixture cools, lightly flour a clean, smooth work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out a sheet of puff pasty until it is roughly doubled in size. Use a sharp knife to cut the sheet into 6 equally sized squares. Set the squares aside and repeat with the remaining sheet of puff pastry. Place the pastry squares in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. To assemble the patties. gather together the pastry squares, meat mixture and a small bowl of water. Place a puff pastry square on a clean work surface and place about 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture into the center. Wet your fingers in the small bowl of water and moisten the edges of the pastry. Fold the pastry in half and seal the edges with your finger or the tines of a fork. Transfer the patty to a lightly greased baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining squares and meat mixture. Set the patties into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and 1 tablespoon of water together in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the tops of the patties with the egg wash. Set the patties into the oven and bake until puffed and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Remove and serve the patties hot or at room temperature.

Pâtés Haïtiens Variations

  • Filling: Substitute ground lamb, pork, chicken or turkey for the ground beef if you like.
  • Pastry: Beat a little achiote powder or paprika into the egg and water to give the pastries a little added color.

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