Mini Potato Pies à l'Andalouse. Mazagran with spicy sausage & red peppers. Gluten-free

Here is another version of the mazagran or filled potato pie. Mazagran  à l'Andalouse is a blaze of colour and with its spicy interior brings all the warmth of a Southern Summer back to a Winter buffet. On days when the wind is howling in across the Atlantic from the West and the rain transforms the garden into a sea of mud, these little pies of delicious and sunshine soaked, brightly coloured pimentos, red onions  and peppers work their magic! They epitomise the rhetorical question in Shelly's concluding words to Ode to the West Wind:
'If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?'

Mini Potato Pies à l'Andalouse. Gluten-free organic recipe

TEMPERATURES

Preheat the oven to 220°C or 425°F

à l'Andalouse

The term  in French cooking refers to a mix of pimento, chipolata and onion. To me chipolata is much too tame for Andalusia and I would be thinking chorizo but this dish really requires fresh meat rather than a dried sausage and in France we only get the latter type. Therefore, I choose to add merguez a spicy sausage from North Africa, which is also very popular in the Middle East and in France forms the basis of couscous dishes. As I remember Andalusia, its rich history, fabulous architecture and world renowned cuisine, influenced by many cultures, including Moorish,  I believe this ingredient not out of place in a dish with the title à l'Andalouse.

Merguez - Individual Potato Pies à l'Andalouse. Gluten-free organic recipe
Merguez are made of beef and/or lamb and also sometimes of poultry. They have a distinct rich red colour which comes from the spices used in their confection. Every charcutier or chef has well-guarded secrets as to the blending of merguez spices but some of the most common are: hot chillies, cumin, fennel, paprika, sumach and coriander.

Mini Potato Pies à l'Andalouse. Gluten-free organic recipe

INGREDIENTS

(makes 16)

For the 'Pastry':

4 medium to large potatoes
A knob of butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
White rice flour for dusting

Mini Potato Pies Ingredients Gluten-free organic recipe
For the Filling:

1 Merguez cut into small pieces
1 large red pepper
1 medium red onion
½ a Piment d'Espelette (do not include all the seeds!) or chilli of your choice*
Salt and pepper
Butter or a suitable oil for cooking.



* Having read around the subject the nearest taste to Espelette seems to be Organic Ground Cayenne

METHOD


For the 'Pastry':

Boil the potatoes whole and in their skins until firm but cooked well enough so that  a fork will pierce them easily. Peel and then mash with a hand masher, thus avoiding any chance of the potato becoming 'gluey'. Add salt and pepper and the butter. Set aside to cool.

Mini Potato Pies Filling. Gluten-free organic recipeFor the Filling:

Sauté the onions, chillies, red pepper in butter in a heavy bottomed pan until they begin to soften. Add the pieces of merguez, cover the pan with a lid  and cook until the meat has turned brown. Season with salt and pepper and then cook, stirring occasionally until any liquid is reduced and you have a thick sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. At this point I mash it slightly with a potato masher just to make it smoother and easier to spoon onto the potato.


ASSEMBLING THE MAZAGRANS


Mini Potato Pies with Spicy Sausage. Gluten-free organic recipe
Mazagrans were traditionally cut out with round fluted cutters and in fact for the first  à l'Andalouse I made I used these and when they were cooked I thought they looked good, (see above). However, I recently bought a set of four different shaped biscuit cutters in three different sizes because, firstly I thought the Mazagran would look more interesting when there was a whole flock of them on a buffet table.  Secondly, when they came out of the oven, it was a lot easier for me to keep track of what filling was in which!


Mini Potato Pies. Gluten-free organic recipe


Dust your pastry board and rolling pin with rice flour. Work with a handful of pastry at a time, it's easier that way. Roll it out and add more rice flour if the potato begins to stick to either the board or pin. Using a cutter of your choice, I liked the large heart for this, cut out the 'pastry' shapes. When you have cut the first one and with the cutter still in place move it slightly from left to right. If it slides easily and the potato moves with it then the rice flour is doing its work. I was so happy to find this solution, as I tried first with potato flour and it was nowhere near as successful!

Place the shapes onto a buttered baking tray.

Mini Potato Pies with Spicy Sausage Filling. Gluten-free organic recipe

Cut the lids so you will be ready to assemble them immediately you have positioned the filling. Prick the lids with a fork to allow for any excess moisture to escape.

Mini Potato Pies with Spicy Sausage. Gluten-free organic recipe
Place one teaspoonful of the mixture on each heart leaving a border to allow for a good seal when positioning the potato lid. Make sure to press around the edges of the heart gently but firmly.

Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on the top shelf of the oven, but check after 5 minutes to make sure they're not cooking too quickly. If they are, then move the tray down to the next level.

Serve warm.

Enjoy!
If you put the filling in when still warm the potato is steamed from the inside and does not hold its shape as well. They still taste good. Though from an aesthetic point of view are rather lacking!

All that needs to be said now is Bon Appėtit!

Hope to see you here again for another recipe from my 100 Gluten-Free Organic Party Foods Challenge!


All the best,

Sue

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©  Sue Cross 2017

Picture of lAlhambra thanks to the Pinterest board of thatsaudigirl3269.tumblr.com

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