Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Jamaican Meat Loaf - #BreadBakers

Patties - spicy ground beef enclosed in a flaky crust - are the quintessential Jamaican lunch. Even if you brought lunch to school every day, you still had special days when you bought a patty. People from all walks of life - lawyers, doctors, the higgler at the school gate, we all enjoy our patties. Nothing beats biting into a hot patty knowing that the steam is probably going to burn you. And more than likely there'll be hot meat doing the same. Yes, we look forward to that. Pair your patty with a coco bread and you have a perfect meal. Our patty shops are also known for the meat loaf. It's like a marriage between the patty and the coco bread. The beef filling is now inside a soft dough - no more flaky crust. Not eating meat? Not to worry, you can grab a callaloo loaf. Those are pretty delicious. I've heard rumours of a soy loaf but I haven't paid much attention.
Folded dough (My house is really dark)

I don't eat a lot of meat loaves. I do like them, but my heart belongs to the flaky patty crust. I just cannot bring myself to order a meat loaf over a patty. Patty lover for life! Seriously. When I return from trips home, I almost always have a box or two of frozen patties with me. The patties that are available here are just not the same. The flavour, the crust - it's just all wrong. Despite my "step-child" treatment of the meat loaf, it is actually perfect for this month's Bread Bakers as we are making stuffed breads.Thanks for hosting, Jenni!

As you'll see below, the meat loaf is pretty easy to make. You do a quick beef filling and make a simple dough. I'm not going to tell you that this is the best meat loaf you'll ever eat. It's good. But nothing will hold a candle to what you can get from Juici Beef. This will tide you over until your next fix though. Plus, you can customise this as much as you like. I hear adding cheese is a thing. Not my thing - I'm a purist - but it could be yours. The only thing missing from this is a brown paper bag. I couldn't find one that was the right size. But all patties and coco breads should be consumed from paper bags. I'll rectify that eventually.

Jamaican Meat Loaf
Recipe by: Kelly 
Yield: 6 loaves

Dough Ingredients
360 grams flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
12 grams sugar
1 teaspoon salt
113 grams milk
97 grams water
12 grams oil

Filling Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
scotch bonnet pepper, to taste
1 lb ground beef
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pimento (allspice)
1 escallion, green tops finely chopped
salt & black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup water or beef stock
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Mix together all the dough ingredients and knead until you have a soft, tacky dough. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Set the dough aside to rise in a covered bowl while you work on the filling. 

In a skillet, heat the tablespoon of oil then add the onion. Cook over medium low heat until softened then add the garlic and scotch bonnet pepper.

When the garlic has softened, add the ground beef, thyme, pimento salt and black pepper. Break up any large pieces of ground beef. When the meat is browned and no longer pink, add about a quarter cup or so of water or beef stock and the bread crumbs. Let simmer until most of the water has been absorbed. The filling should be moist but not so wet that it would make the dough soggy.

Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. 

When dough has risen, divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece out to a 6- 7 inch circle.  Top half of the circle with two heaping tablespoons of filling leaving a quarter inch from the edge untouched. Moisten this untouched edge with water or egg wash. Fold the other half over and press down to seal the dough. Ensure that the filling is even and there are no bulges before sealing.

Let rest for 10 minutes then bake for 18 minutes or until the meat loaves are a light golden brown. Let cool for a couple minutes before eating.
  • The actual shape used by my favourite patty shop is not a circle. It's rectangular with two rounded edges. I actually have a template that I cut out from one of the patties in my freezer. (Obsession.) It's however, a lot easier to roll out a 6 inch circle and I did that for all except the one in the first pic.
  • Scotch bonnets are pretty spicy. Handle with care.


Stuffed Breads from the Bread Bakers

Sweet Breads

Savory Breads

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

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  1. Love the filling the bread. Nice flavors and the real kick of heat from scotch bonnet pepper.

  2. I have been looking for things to make ahead and freeze recently, this seems like it would do well for that. Very easy to make and looks delicious!

  3. I have learned a new thing! When I saw you were making "Jamaican Meat Loaf," I wasn't sure what to expect. When I think Jamaica (not being from there or ever visiting) I think patties. Which I love. We used to go to a little patties place in Orlando run by a lovely Jamaican family. So good! I had no idea that using bread dough turned them magically into meat loaf. Very cool! These will indeed tide me over nicely until I can get to Juici Beef! =)

  4. I was using scotch bonnet pepper sauce this weekend, love the spice. These rolls look great!!

  5. I love that you pulled a frozen patty out of the freezer to make a template, Kelly. You crack me up! I always enjoy reading your posts because I would love to go to Jamaica someday and then I'll know all what to eat. First up, a patty from Juici Patties! Meanwhile, I'm going to try your meatloaf since it looks so tasty.

  6. I love that you shared a piece of your culture with us. Thank you, these sound delicious!

  7. This sounds delicious!!! What a wonderful combination of flavors!

  8. being Caribbean myself I have had countless meat patties although I skip the coco bread combo..but this meatloaf looks just as awesome

  9. I love how so many cultures and countries have their own traditions of meat and spices wrapped up in a bread or pastry package-- thanks for sharing this today!

  10. The feeling of steam burning you when you are eating the patty hot = Incredible! Loved this post and the bread.

  11. Your Jamaican bread loaf looks amazing.

  12. These sound like a great dinner to me!

  13. Sounds absolutely delicious! I need to try this one! Meat loaf with such a great filling can actually double up as a meal on a weekend when I'm in no mood to cook! Thanks for sharing!

  14. I could KILL for one of these right now - and it's only 8:30AM!

  15. These sound great and I love your filling.

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