I have nothing against the typical potato salad that’s ubiquitous throughout the southeast. It’s reliably good as long as people don’t try to fancy it up with grapes and nuts and unbearable pretense. Ironically, southern potato salad is a picnic food, but being mayo-based, it shouldn’t sit at room temperature for too long. That means you roll the dice each time you heap lukewarm spoonful onto your plate. I like German-style potato salad because it can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature.
German-Style Potato Salad
- 2 pounds baby gold potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 5 slices bacon, crumbled
- ½ large (or 1 small) onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- ⅔ cup water
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup chives (or green onions), chopped
- ½ cup milk
This has become my go-to potato side dish whenever I make wiener schnitzel. The thing I love best about recipe is how easy it is to prepare.
To make this recipe, you set the broiler to 400° and move the rack to the second-highest position. On a baking pan, lay out five pieces of bacon and scatter the potatoes all around. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the potatoes and roll them around to coat evenly. When the oven is finished preheating, put the pan under the broiler and cook for 20 minutes until the bacon is crisp.
Remove the cooked bacon and set on paper towels. Shake the baking pan again so that the potatoes roll all through the bacon fat. Put the tray back in the oven for another 5-15 minutes, depending on how thick your potatoes are.
While the potatoes are finishing up in the oven, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, pepper, celery seed, water, and vinegars in a bowl and set aside. Warm the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Chop the onion and saute until it starts to brown. Add the wet mixture to the pan and stir until it boils and thickens. Turn the heat to a very low simmer. This simmer is necessary to cook off the starchy taste of the flour.
When the potatoes are done, let them cool for a few minutes and then roughly chop them into cubes.
While the potatoes are cooling, crumble the bacon and chop the chives. Add the chopped potatoes to the pan along with the milk, chives, and bacon, and mix carefully. The potatoes should soak up all of the liquid. If they don’t, mix them a little more harshly to break up the potatoes a bit more. Add more milk if you think it needs it.
Season to taste with a pinch each of salt and pepper and serve warm (or refrigerate and serve cold, later). You can add anything else to the salad; peas, corn, chopped celery, carrots, etc. It’s a real crowd-pleaser.