St-Jean Baptiste – Cocktail-sized Jamaican Patties

Last week was “la fête nationale du Québec” – St-Jean-Baptise Day (Quebec’s national holiday), celebrated on June 24th.

It’s the day when all Quebec-ers, especially those of French Canadian origin, let their hair down and party!! 

You can read about its origins here:

My husband is French Canadian so we celebrated at our home with about 25 of our closest family and friends and it was great fun and very tasty! Well…I certainly wasn’t going into this half-heartedly. I wanted to make something different and memorable so among my appetizers, I served home-made, cocktail-sized Jamaican patties. They were so good and so darn cute!

You may be thinking…St-Jean…Jamaican patties? That doesn’t seem right. Well I say to that, “Vive le Quebec” and “vive sa belle diversité!!!”  😉 Quebec’s diversity and European flare is what makes it one of the best places to live and what makes it stand out from the rest of Canada. Quebec has that, ‘je ne sais quoi

These patties are just mini meat pies after all. Pie dough & minced meat but with a dash of curry powder. The addition of curry is really what makes it Jamaican. Oh yeah, and its not shaped like pie or cooked in a pie dish. WHATEVER! It’s a summer event so I thought it a perfect little canapé, adding a little tropical flair.

FYI – They are not heavy with curry flavor. On the contrary, you can hardly notice it. Its just right for those unfortunate non-curry people. 😉  Kinda’ reminds me of lipton soup mix actually.

I discovered the recipe in my latest BBQ-ing bible. It is the “Rob Rainford’s Born to Grill” cookbook which I picked up at Costco. There are so many great grilling tips, delicious sides and appetizers.

The patty dough is easier to make than regular pie dough so don’t worry if you’re not an expert. Also, in the original recipe the patties are meant to be grilled but for convenience, I baked mine.

Freezing the Jamaican

These patties are also perfect to make ahead and freeze. Once assembled & still raw, skip the egg wash & freeze them in a single layer. (on a cookie sheet or carefully in large ziplocks, insuring that they are not touching because they may fuse together.)

You can also freeze them cooked and reheat from frozen at 450 degrees until warmed through. This is what I did and they turned out perfectly.

Makes about 20 cocktail-sized patties.

Patty dough

2 Cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp of yellow curry powder (preferably Jamaican)

1/4 tsp of Kosher salt

1/4 cup of cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes

1/4 cup of cold vegetable shortening also cut into small cubes

1/3 cup of ice water (Dont have ice? No problem , place a measuring cup with 1/3 water in the freezer for 15 mins or until really cold.)


2 tbsp of Olive oil

1 onion, grated or finely minced

8oz or 250g of ground beef

8oz or 250g of ground veal

1tsp of Curry powder

1tsp of chopped fresh thyme

1tsp of Kosher salt

1tsp of ground black pepper

1/2 cup of beef broth

1/3 cup of bread crumbs

3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

The Rainford Method (it’s actually the Stephanie method because I baked mine)

Preheat oven to 400 to 425F. Prep baking sheets by covering them with parchment paper Obviously, I do this so that they don’t stick but I also avoid using any sort of oils or fat.

Patty dough:

Blend the flour with the curry powder and salt until well combined.

Add the butter , shortening and water.

Blend by hand or in a food processor (pulsing on and off) until dough is crumbly and pea-sized. Do not overmix. (There needs to be some butter and shortening still in-tact)

Shape dough into a ball and then a thick disk, working quickly.

Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours or until firm.


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high.

Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until tender but NOT browned.

Add the ground meat curry powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until meat is browned.

Stir in the broth and breadcrumbs and cook until mixture resembles a thick paste. Let cool.


Roll the dough out to a 3mm or 1/8th of an inch thickness and cut into 3 inch (8cm) rounds.

Place an equal amount of mixture into the center of each dough round.  (I used about a tsp of mixture for each but you will gauge it when trying to seal the first couple of patties)

Brush beaten egg yolk over half of the exposed dough.

Fold the dough over to enclose the filling and pinch edges to seal. I used the end of a fork to create a little design but don’t press very hard.

Brush the tops of the now closed patties with more egg wash.

Bake until golden and dough is cooked through. About 15 to 18 mins.

Check them constantly.

Always test before serving. You will always have rejects you can eat…You know, where you overstuffed a few and the filling has escaped its enclosure…or just plain didn’t turn out so pretty.

These are a lot of fun! Serve with your favorite Sangria.

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