Island Food: Beef Pate Recipe


One of my favorite things to be found in the Caribbean is pate (pah-tay – not to be confused with French pâté).  Known all over the Caribbean by many different names: patties, empanadas, pastelitos – they are known as pates in the Virgin Islands and Haiti.  Basically a Caribbean Hot Pocket, the pate can be stuffed with a variety of fillings such as chicken, conch, saltfish, goat or cheese – but my favorite is the beef pate.

The best place is St. John to get pates is Hurcules Pate Delight, located in a small white shack across from the Lumberyard in Cruz Bay.  The proprietors aren’t always the nicest, but it’s worth putting up with a little attitude to get your hands on one of their delights.  Also, the Mojo Cafe has started selling pates, although I haven’t had one from there yet, so I can’t comment on how good it is.  But, hell – it’s deep fried meat – how can it be bad?

West Indian Beef Pates 


  • 5 cups flour
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ to ½ cup water

Pate filling:

  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 1 small stick celery, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons green bell pepper, chopped
  • Dash oregano
  • Dash black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • Dash parsley flakes
  • Dash garlic powder
  • ¼ small hot pepper, chopped (or to taste)



To make dough:

Place flour, shortening, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add enough water to make dough. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes. Let dough sit for 20 minutes.

To make ground meat filling:

Cook beef in a large frying pan with onion, celery, bell pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, parsley flakes, salt, tomato paste, Kitchen Bouquet and hot pepper. Continue cooking until ground beef is well cooked and vegetables are tender. Stir often while cooking to blend ingredients well. Use a large strainer to remove excess fat from the meat mixture. Divide dough into two pieces. Roll flat and place 1-1/2 tablespoons of ground beef mixture into center of flattened dough. Fold dough over filling using a fork to seal ends so that the filling is completely sealed inside like a turnover. Use dough cutter to cut excess dough around the pate to give an even shape. Deep fry in vegetable oil or shortening at 360 degrees until golden brown.

13 thoughts on “Island Food: Beef Pate Recipe

  1. Just came back from St. John yesterday. Hurcules Pate Delight was by far our favorite spot for pates too! I actually ate 3 in one sitting.
    A close runner up was Vie’s Snack Shack, on the way to Salt Pond.
    Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to try to recreate this delicious dish.

  2. This is a horrible recipe! No indication of how thick the dough should be after rolling out. Directions to halve the dough once rolled and then put only 1.5 tbsp filling inside. Obviously something has been left out. And the dough is pretty mediocre anyway.

  3. Thanks for the recipe! I’m from St Croix & have been searching for a good recipe! Island girl approved!

  4. There’s a santo roach coach to the left of Food Center in Frydenhoj. It has THE best pate on East End. You will want to get directed to Independent Boat Yard. Food Center is right across the street. Get there early AM to get them fresh.

  5. I can tell my beloved West Indians, because they write jus’ how dey speak. Thank you for the laughs

  6. I don’t understand any of the recipes I’ve found, because I’ve been eating VI pates all my life and the dough is usually a little sweet and I don’t see anything sweet on the ingredients. What makes the dough sweet?

  7. This recipe is exact to all ingredients and measurements for the pate from Little Bopeep Restaurant that used to be on Backstreet in St Thomas

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