I was blessed to grow up in a family of wonderful cooks. My mother was a gifted baker and cook who set a beautiful table and filled it with creative and delicious dishes. My grandmother, equally adept in the kitchen, was more down to earth, cooked without recipes, and was the person we looked to for everyday soups, stews and roasted meats. Her schnitzel was so tender and crispy…it almost melted in your mouth. Unfortunately she never wrote down her recipes and I was young enough when I helped her in the kitchen that I didn’t ask detailed questions about what herbs and spices she used, what ingredients went into which dishes…things like that…so, as often as I tried, I haven’t been able to duplicate some of her recipes that were my favorites. She made a stuffed breast of veal that was out of this world and, even if I could find that cut of meat today, I wouldn’t have a clue what was in her stuffing or how she roasted it to perfection. It was what I always asked for on my birthday dinner. It’s just going to have to stay a wonderful memory.
What initially got me hooked on my friend, Debby’s blog, A FEAST FOR THE EYES, were her stories about her Mutti and all the wonderful German dishes she made for her family when Debby was growing up. Her mother owned a Bavarian Delicatessen in the town where they lived and she prepared this salad every morning for her customers. I remember many of the recipes Debby posts from my own German upbringing and am thrilled to finally have some of the recipes I tried to duplicate in the past. We love German potato salad and Debby’s recipe is a little different from the one I have used for years so I decided to give it a try. This is a keeper and will be my recipe from now on. The red onion and Japanese rice vinegar add so much flavor…so does pouring the cider vinegar over warm potatoes. Because this salad doesn’t contain any mayonnaise it travels well and is perfect for picnics during summer months. I halved the recipe for a dinner for 5.
When my own Mutti and I were in Bavaria years ago we were served a lunch of roasted brats, sauerkraut and potato salad on beautiful pewter plates like this one. I loved the heart shape (and the delicious lunch) and was able to purchase one of the plates to bring home with me. Every single time I look at it I remember that wonderful time with my mom.
- 5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- ½ pound bacon strips
- 1 tablespoon dill
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup Japanese rice vinegar (optional)
- ½ to 1 cup vegetable oil to taste
- Slice the bacon and cook until crispy. Drain on paper towels and save about 2 tablespoons of the fat.
- Finely chop the cooked bacon and set aside.
- Finely dice the onion, parsley and fresh dill (or use dried dill)
- Prep all your ingredients first because once you peel and slice the potatoes you need to add the "dressing" so that it better absorbs into the potatoes.
- Boil the potatoes, skins on, until fork tender in water. Drain and allow to cool slightly so they can be picked up and held in a clean tea towel. Gently remove the skins. Cut each potato in half and then into fairly thin slices (about ¼") into a large bowl. Pour the vinegar, salt and pepper over the warm potatoes and give it a few minutes to absorb. I poured about half the amount of vinegar on the potatoes and then tasted as I added more to be sure I got the right amount of tang for my family's taste.
- Add the bacon, onion and dill. Add reserved bacon fat and chicken stock.
- Gently mix with a large spatula, being careful not to press the potatoes too much.
- Add about ¾ cup vegetable oil. (I added about ½ cup because I knew I could add more if needed)
- Add 1 teaspoon sugar,additional salt and pepper if needed and the fresh parsley. Mix well.
- I like to prepare this potato salad several hours ahead so the flavors can mingle. If made the day before allow it to come to room temperature or warm SLIGHTLY before serving.
SERVE WITH YOUR FAVORITE GRILLED SAUSAGES
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm