German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

Kartoffelsalat is a classic southern German potato salad that’s popular the world over. Hearty fare this is, as it would be, and well worth serving up with some grilled bratwurst and Bavarian beer for a real  German beer garden supper for a crowd.

Traditionally served warm, which is wonderful in cooler weather, but try chilled potatoes tossed with warm dressing for the hot summer months. Either way, this salad is sure to elicit demands for second helpings, so be prepared!

German Potato Salad     Serves 8 to 10

  • 5 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
  • 10 slices German bacon
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ cup bacon fat
  • 2 ½ tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups stock or water, hot
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt + more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced spring onions, green part only

Gently boil the potatoes in their jackets in salted water until tender. Tip the potatoes into a colander to drain and set them aside until they are cool enough to handle. Then gently peel off the skin, which slips off quite easily. Set aside or refrigerate the peeled potatoes while you make the dressing.

While the potatoes are cooking you can fry the bacon until browned and crispy. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to cool and reserve ¼ cup of the bacon fat. When the bacon is cooled, slice into thin strips crosswise and halved. Set aside.

Place the reserved bacon fat in a clean skillet set over medium heat. When hot add the onions and celery and saute until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the flour, stirring it into the onions and celery, and cook for 2 minutes. Then begin gradually adding the hot stock (or water) while stirring continuously. The mixture will seize up at first and then smooth out and begin to thicken. Add the vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, salt, and ground pepper. Continue to stir until the mixture comes back to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes while continuously stirring until the dressing is thick. Then add all but a couple of tablespoons of the bacon pieces and slowly stir in the milk. Cook another 3 or 4 minutes while stirring. Taste the dressing and add additional salt if needed. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Slice the potatoes into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Spoon some warm dressing over the potatoes. Add half of the spring onions and gently toss, adding more dressing until the potatoes are evenly coated.

Transfer the salad to a platter and scatter the remaining spring onions and bacon pieces over the top and serve promptly.

Any dressing you may have leftover is wonderful over salad greens.

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