3 ratings

Curried Meat Pies

Jamaican curry is preferred
Curried Meat Pies
E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

These mini meat pies are packed with all the ancestral culinary character of the Caribbean and African diaspora. 

This recipe by Toni Tipton-Martin appeared in the Chicago Tribune.


For a sturdier crust, reduce the shortening to ½ cup and increase the water to 3 ⅔ cup.


For the Curried Pastry Crust

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 Cups shortening, cut into 1/2-inch dice, chilled
  • 1/3 Cup ice-cold water, or as needed

For the Curried Meat Pies

  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • 1 Cup minced onion
  • 1/4 Cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon minced chile pepper, such as Scotch bonnet or habanero
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons curry powder, preferably Jamaican
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • Oil, for greasing the baking sheet
  • 1 egg
  • All-purpose flour, for the work surface
  • Paprika (optional)


For the Curried Pastry Crust

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, curry powder, cayenne and salt.

Sprinkle the shortening pieces over the dry ingredients.

Using your fingertips, a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle half of the water over the dough and stir with a fork to mix.

Stir in enough additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to form a shaggy dough.

Scrape the dough onto a floured board.

Knead 5 to 10 seconds, until the dough is smooth.

Wrap the dough in a large sheet of wax paper or plastic, folding the edges over to completely cover the dough.

Press the dough into a flat disc and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Curried Meat Pies

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot.

Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from the pan.

Add the onion, bell pepper, chile pepper and garlic to the skillet and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned on the edges, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the salt, cayenne, curry powder, thyme, tomato paste and ¼ cup water.

Bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes to thicken the mixture.

Taste and add salt as desired. Set the filling aside to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Set the egg wash aside.

Divide the curried pastry crust into quarters.

On a lightly floured board, working with one piece of pastry at a time, roll the pastry 1⁄8-inch thick.

Cut out rounds with a 3-inch cutter. Stack the pastry rounds on a plate and cover with a damp cloth. You should have 30 rounds total.

Spoon 1 tablespoon filling onto one side of each round, leaving a ½-inch border around the filling.

Brush the edges with a small amount of water to moisten.

Fold the other half of the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges together with a fork or fingers to seal in filling.

Place the meat pies on the baking sheet and brush with the egg wash.

Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Serve warm.