German Potato Salad is something that I love, but I personally had never made it before this batch. My mother has a favorite recipe for it and she made it for the July 4th weekend and got rave reviews, even from my husband, Pitts, who is not a big potato fan. I learned his philosophy at Angelo’s BBQ in Fort Worth early in our engagement (I would have said courtship but we were engaged after 13 days so there wasn’t much of a courtship…but what little courtin’ we did was rather exciting). As we stood in line admiring all of the big stuffed bass on the walls, I asked him if he wanted potato salad with his chopped beef sandwich. He replied, “Honey, if you’ve got room for potatoes, then you’ve got room for another chopped beef sandwich instead,” whereupon he ordered 2 chopped beef sandwiches and no potato salad. I, on the other hand, have never met a potato that I didn’t like.
Even Pitts gave this potato salad his approval. It doesn’t hurt that it is loaded with bacon. It is really wonderful warm. But it is also fantastic at room temperature or cold. And, since it doesn’t contain any mayonnaise, it is a great choice for picnics or gatherings where it might have to sit out for a bit. I served it with Kuby’s Jalapeno Cheese Sausages. This is one of my all time favorite meals. And since the sausages only need to be warmed, and the potato salad is extremely easy, it might become one of your favorite meals too. This recipe was inspired by a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook recipe. This version is notably different in that I choose to keep the peels on the potatoes because I love the color and texture it lends. I also use much larger chunks of potato and I use champagne vinegar and whole mustard. I love this dish. Call it a salad or a side if you choose, but make it! This recipe yields about 4 servings.
10 small to medium red potatoes, skin on (1 to 1.25 lbs.)
5 slices of bacon
½ medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1-½ teaspoons salt, divided use
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
2/3 cup water
1. In a large pot combine the whole potatoes, enough water to cover them by two inches and a teaspoon of salt. Bring the potatoes to a simmer and allow them to cook until they give when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes into a colander and let them sit until you are ready to use them.
2. In a skillet, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel and leave the drippings in the skillet. (At this point I decided that my pan had gotten a little bit too browned so I poured the drippings into a bowl, cleaned my skillet and added the drippings back to the pan once it was clean.) Saute the onions in the bacon grease until they are tender. Add the flour and stir it completely into the onions. Add the sugar, remaining salt, pepper, parsley and whole grain mustard. Stir to combine. Finally, add the vinegar and water. Stir thoroughly and allow the “gravy” to bubble and cook for two minutes until it is thickened.
3. Meanwhile, chop the bacon into bite size pieces (I like it chunky) and slice the potatoes into eigths (cut them in half, and cut each half into 4 pieces.
4. Add the potatoes and bacon to the gravy and gently stir the mixture until all of the potatoes are coated. Warm it over a low flame for a few more minutes if you are going to serve it hot. You may serve it immediately, allow it to cool to room temperature, or store it covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it cold.
Notes: You may substitute either white wine vinegar or white distilled vinegar for the champagne vinegar. Also, feel free to double the “wet” (except the onions) part of the recipe if you like a saucier potato salad. Or, you may simply sprinkle a little more vinegar on the finished dish at the end, when you are tweaking the seasonings.
Also, the wonderful jalapeno cheese sausage can also be heated in the oven. This is the short order method. I like it because the cheese oozes a little and it forms this crispy cheese crust on the sausages. This is how Kuby’s serves them if you order them with eggs for breakfast, which I highly recommend. My son, Ford, recently requested that we go to Kuby’s for lunch because, 1) he loves the food, and 2) “because mom, if we eat there then you can buy sausages and all that other stuff you get and we won’t have to go to the grocery store with you.” True enough. That little pearl of wisdom led to this meal for which I was/am truly grateful.
Thanks for the lead, Mom!
(Mom also says, “Don’t forget to tell them that sauerkraut is really good with this meal, too.”)