Potato salads have always been an enigma for me.
I’ve never fallen in love with just one and stuck with it throughout my life. I share the love for potato salads equally, without hesitation. Across all borders of flavor….tangy, mustardy, sweet, red potato, buffalo, dill…you name it, I’ll eat it.
My mom’s potato salad recipe is a favorite of mine, but I like eating that on a hot summer day. It’s cold, dilly and refreshing; perfect for those sweltering Oklahoma summer nights.
Another good one is this Warm Buffalo Potato Salad. It’s spicy, warm, and creamy from the blue cheese. This potato salad tastes the best when it’s served alongside bratwurst or pork chops.
I’ve also never been known to shy away from a good ‘ol Reser’s potato salad. They make some of the best plain old mustard-potato salad this side of the Mississippi. I will snub no salad made of potatoes if it is offered to me, not even the processed tub kind.
Growing up in a German family, though, I’ve found I have an affinity for the traditional warm, vinegar-based potato salad. That stuff really gets my tastebuds going! It’s best when it resembles mashed potatoes—no huge cubes of potatoes in sight. You’ve also got to have the chunks of bacon mixed throughout to make it a good old fashioned German Potato Salad.
I’m shocked I’ve waited this long to try my hand at the Motherland’s potato salad. It’s typically made with plain white vinegar, but even though I literally have EVERY SINGLE OBSCURE VINEGAR KNOWN TO MAN in my cupboard, I didn’t have ANY plain white vinegar. Seriously. I’ve got salad vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, and my favorite: apple cider vinegar.
I thought the apple cider vinegar was the closest I would get to a good, hearty white vinegar so I used it in its place. It worked. I added a bit of sugar to the salad and it really harmonized well with the apple cider vinegar. It still has a bite—a BIG one, at that—but that’s exactly what you want in a German potato salad. The hardcore vinegar taste is mouthwatering.
You can either serve this salad warm or cold, but if you want to take the full-blown authentic route, you have to eat it warm. Sprinkle a crack of pepper on top and dig in. You’ll be crying for Deutschland potato salad at every family gathering after this!
German Potato Salad
A traditional German potato salad that is vinegar-based and includes crispy bacon and parsley.
- 3 cups potatoes, peeled and diced (about 4-5 large Russet potatoes)
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBS. white sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add diced potatoes and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Drain.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place foil on a baking sheet and then lay strips of bacon on top, making sure they don’t touch each other. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crispy and browned. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to cool. Once cool, crumble bacon.
- Drain bacon grease into a small skillet. Heat grease over medium high heat and then add onions. Saute until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together potatoes, crumbled bacon, onions, parsley, salt, pepper, white vinegar and sugar, sort of mashing the potatoes as you stir. Serve warm or cold, and top with parsley.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and add bacon slices, making sure none of them touch. Bake for 15 minutes or until crispy and brown. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to cool and then crumble.
Pour bacon grease off baking sheet and into a small skillet. Heat over medium high heat and add onions. Saute until onions are soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, parsley, crumbled bacon, onions, salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar; sort of mashing the potatoes as you go (it’s okay to have a few little chunks). Serve immediately or refrigerate until later.