I grew up eating a lot of German cooking and have a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for it.
To those who’ve never had the good fortune to have eaten German Potato Salad before, in all its hot, sour, bacon goodness, I think you’re in for a treat. My grandparents knew it as Kartoffelsalat.
Start with good, firm, red potatoes. Preferably organic. (Potatoes are on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list. 🙁 )
A small onion. Organic as well, if you can, but onions are on EWG’s Clean 15 list this year so you’re okay if you can’t find them or the price difference is big.
Good bacon. Beyond my plea that you only eat from animals that were humanely treated and not loaded with garbage, chemicals, and medicines, choose good-tasting bacon. We get ours from a local butcher, sliced to order. It costs the same or less than the grocery store brands and tastes twice as good!
If you don’t mind the price, I can highly recommend Beeler’s for just about anything pork (it’s often in the freezer section at the grocery).
I want to be able to recommend Costco’s Kirkland Signature bacon, and I can testify that it does taste pretty darn good, but it also contains nitrites so I avoid it. 🙁
Oddly enough, Grandma’s recipe just called for bacon fat which she kept in a jar by the sink. I just render down some chopped bacon and toss it all in.
Just FYI, Grandma also added beef stock to hers and I do not.
Grandma also peeled her potatoes after they were cooked. I do not. I like them unpeeled. Follow your heart.
Finely dice your onion. Again, use a small onion or half of a large one (so you can use the other half in another dish). Some people (like me!) cook the onion in the bacon fat. Some people leave them raw to add a bit of crunch and have a stronger flavor.
Mix everything together and serve warm (it’s pretty good cold too, but hey).
German Potato Salad
To those who've never had the good fortune to have eaten German Potato Salad before, in all its hot, sour, bacon goodness, I think you're in for a treat. My grandparents knew it as Kartoffelsalat.
- 2 lbs red potatoes diced into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 lbs bacon diced and cooked
- 5 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 onion, small diced small (see picture)
- 2 tbsp white sugar (optional)
- 1 tbsp Dijon or coarse-grained mustard
- 2 tsp dried parsley (or a couple tbsp fresh chopped if you have it)
- salt and pepper
Dice the potatoes into 1 inch cubes. The exact size is less important than trying to make them all about roughly the same size so they cook at the same rate. Add them to a pan, add enough cold water to cover plus a couple inches, and cook over boiling water until they are just fork tender but not too soft.
Cook the bacon in a fry pan and remove to a paper towel to drain. Drain off all but a few tbsp of bacon fat.
Cook the onions in the bacon fat until they're translucent, about 5 minutes.
Whisk together everything else in a bowl big enough to hold the salad.
Add the potatoes, bacon, and onions, and gently toss.
Salt and pepper to taste.
You can cook your potatoes whole or diced. I tend to dice them first because they cook a lot faster. However, if you're going to peel them, then you shouldn't do that.