Barbados and meat pies??

So I was going through vacation pictures again...I know, I can't stop! My brother-in-law wanted all of us to go to a high end all-inclusive resort in Barbados for his 40th birthday and it was my first time there. Obviously it was gorgeous. Now I am all for a beach but I don't really like going in the water -- for me the sand and the sound of the water is the best part. Otherwise I am totally a pool girl. I like lounging (under an umbrella) and people (cute guys?) bringing me frozen drinks. Taking a dip when it gets too hot and just chilling while reading an amazing book. Now, I have always maintained that I am a foodie but I really do think that food creates memories.

The resort that we were staying at was a Sandal's property and if you have never stayed at one, you definitely should at least once. I am not a fan of all-inclusive properties (like, at all) because in my experience, they use quantity of food and beverages to replace that of quality. Why? Most times because they need to justify the all inclusive price. Well, Sandals is not cheap (like really not cheap!) but there is a reason. They understand that the overall experience is worth their price tag - and totally is. They had several restaurants on property and they were all fantastic. They had a legit Japanese steakhouse and an Indian Restaurant (almost a requisite with my family (<cue eye roll>) along with traditional Caribbean food. The food was really the highlight of the trip which is amazing considering that it was Barbados and gorgeous. So how did I arrive at Jamaican beef pies as my food memory? We will get to that. But first!

There is was a super funny story with this trip! I don't want to run on but I do think that it's worth mentioning (if nothing else for my own memory and chuckle!). My brother in law (my fam in general) is not what we would like to call functional. They have more of a laissez faire attitude about things. I, on the other hand, am super anal. My career in the hospitality industry has made me overly punctual along the premise that being early is being on time and being on time is being late. So yes, I also bought my plane ticket a year out when we booked our hotel room. They did not.

So when they finally got around to booking their flights, all the non-stop flights from Charlotte were sold out. The only flight they could take out of Charlotte would have added 8 hours to their flight. The closest non stop flight was leaving from Atlanta. So they all decided to drive there the night before and take that flight.

I was at the airport in Charlotte 2 hours early due to it being an international flight. Them whilst in Atlanta? Not so at all. Those fools roll up to the airport around 50 minutes before their flight (there were 3 couples) and then were shocked when the Atlanta airport was insanely busy. I called from the gate in Charlotte and they were almost 95% sure they were not going to make it past security on time. It was looking more and more like my party (along with my brother and his wife) were going to be celebrating my BIL's birthday alone! My brother's wife's had family in Atlanta so they stayed separately and managed to come early and were already at the gate waiting for the crazies.

Thanks to an amazing gate agent who escorted them to the front of the security line (does that even happen anymore??), they literally ran to the gate and probably only got on because my brother was pleading with the gate agents to wait on them before the final closing of the gates. That about sums up my family for you.

So the trip started off eventfully to say the least. The funny part of this story is that it happened to them AGAIN on the way back!!! My sister had booked all their flights on (I really need the eye roll emoji here!) and somehow (!), their flights back were all cancelled and rebooked to fly back A DAY EARLIER. So let me paint you a picture...the girls are enjoying a frozen, very alcoholic drink (one of several) at the swim up bar. My sister is lounging nearby aimlessly scrolling on her phone. We see her pop up from her chair and run to one of our guy friends and see them talking back and forth, getting all worked up. They come to the swimming pool edge and furiously gesture for us to swim over. We do, laughing and chatting the whole way because...well we were on vacation! Turns out she JUST saw her email notifications - the big one being "it's time for you to check in for your flight today".

The story just gets worse from there. It consists of me, dripping wet, standing outside their rooms watching while they all frantically throw all their belongings into their suitcases. The front desk were hero's for arranging for transportation asap for them. Their flight was leaving within 2 hours and it's a 40 minute ride to the airport. If they missed this flight, the next one was in 4 days so they didn't have many options. I, on the other hand, had taken advantage of the resort's promotion that they had and had booked an extra 2 days plus our flight was still good to go. So I waved my friends and family off as they frantically left the resort. Spoiler: they barely made their flight. I honestly needed the extra days to shake off all the extra excitement that had thrown off my vacation zen!

Back to the Jamaican beef patties! While on vacation (before the craziness), we had taken an excursion to a submarine to see a shipwrecked boat. Full disclosure: I did NOT want to go but the majority had won this round. I get sea/motion sick in the best of times (think a green Monika on the San Antonio riverwalk) so I wasn't too optimistic about going deep underwater. However, before getting on the submarine, there was a gift shop and they sold these Jamaican beef patties. I had never had them before and they were so freaking delicious!! Like really delicious. We all devoured them. Fancy food at the resort's restaurants aside, there is just something about fried, yummy street food! It really hit the spot before going underwater. I was correct - going underwater in the submarine was not my favorite thing but those meat patties definitely was something that I would remember. Hence...keeping with the theme (Spanish churros in Switzerland and now Jamaican beef patties in the Caribbean!) - I am posting my version of them!

Of course...made in the air fryer! They aren't the quickest thing to make but so worth it! I attempted to make a quick video of the process which I will post at the end. Enjoy!

Jamaican Beef Patties



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 Tbsp Sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) very cold butter, diced up

  • 1/4 cup shortening

  • Approx. 1/2 cup ice cold water or as needed


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 Habanero chile, seeded, and minced (optional if you can’t handle spicy - I skipped this because my sauce was super spicy)

  • 2 tablespoons Jamaican curry powder

  • 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 Tbsp ground garlic

  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef

  • 1 Tbsp ketchup

  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 3/4 cup dried Panko breadcrumbs

  • 3/4 cup any broth or water

  • Vegetable spray


  • Make the dough first so it can rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. In a food processor, add all the dry ingredients and pulse to combine.

  • Add the cold butter and shortening (I put it in the freezer after it’s been diced until ready to use). Pulse about 10 times until they are pea sized in the mixture.

  • While the food processor is on, quickly add the ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time JUST until the dough comes together. Be careful to not add too much.

  • Dump into a bowl and add flour if too wet until it forms a dough ball. Don’t overwork it and a little sticky is ok, it will harden in the fridge. Wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes while you are making the filling.

  • To make the filling, heat the oil in a large, preferably nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, chile and all the spices and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.

  • Add the ground beef and break it up as it cooks. Continue to cook until all the beef is cooked through, stirring frequently. Add the soy sauce, breadcrumbs and broth and stir to combine until everything is absorbed.

  • Remove the filling from the heat and let cool.

  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each ball between your palms to smooth it out.

  • Line a tray with parchment paper to transfer the formed beef patties. They will need to be refrigerated to firm up before air frying.

  • One at a time, place a ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out evenly into circle about 5-inches in diameter.

  • Evenly distribute the beef filling generously between the dough circles.

  • One-by-one fold over the dough and press the edges to enclose the filling. Use the tines of a fork to press along the edges to seal.

  • Place the sealed beef patties onto the parchment-lined baking sheets, then chill the sheets in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to help set the dough.

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400F for 5 minutes. Prepare a parchment paper for the air fryer. Spray the parchment with avocado oil. Keep sides longer on the parchment paper so you can easily slip the paper in and out. You will need to work in batches. I can get 3 large beef patties in at a time.

  • Evenly spray the tops with oil and bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Carefully flip them and cook an additional 3 minutes. Serve immediately!

I had to make this a bit Indian because it’s who I am so I paired this with a spicy cilantro mint chutney but you guys do you!

Here is a video - it's a lot but all the steps are pretty easy! I actually froze half of them so that when I get the craving again, it's as easy as throwing them in the air fryer!


Air fryer

Jamaican curry powder

Wooden handled measuring cups/spoons

Prep bowls

Food processor Rolling pin

Boos board

Pastry scraper

White rectangular food platter

Dip ramekins


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