This Warm German Potato Salad is one of my husbands all time favorite dishes. Unfortunately, our kids hate potatoes. Because of them, I don’t make this very often. I should make it for him more frequently, because it really is so easy and super delicious. I know my husband would appreciate it. The warm potatoes, crisp bacon, and punch of mustard and vinegar make this Warm German Potato Salad an all around tongue tickler.
Warm Up to Potato Salad!!
There is apparently some debate about how to serve German Potato Salad. In my experience it is always served warm. It is served fresh right after it has been prepared. This way everything is cool enough to eat, but the warm dressing has soaked in and the flavors are well combined.
Warm potato salad is kind of an affront to our American sensibility, because when we think potato salad, the first thing we imagine is a salad dressed with mayonnaise. Warm and mayonnaise at a picnic just sets off all kinds of food safety warning bells. The signature dressing on a German Potato Salad is mustard and vinegar based. Mustard, and apple cider vinegar all soaked into warm potatoes with spices, crispy bacon, and crunchy onion just sets off the dinner bell or maybe Pavlov’s bell because talking about it is making me salivate.
Perfect Warm German Potato Salad
This is a very simple recipe, but like most recipes a few pointers will make sure you get it just right.
Boiling Potatoes The Right Way!
For this recipe I use small red potatoes. This creamer potato is starchy and great for a potato salad because after it is cooked, it holds together. You don’t want to use a russet for this. A russet potato tends to break down too much and leave too much mush.
To boil the potatoes perfectly, start by rinsing away any excess dirt and cut away any blemishes. Place them in a medium-sized pot and cover with cool water. This is important. You should never throw whole potatoes into boiling water. The outside will overcook and the inside will under cook. Bring the water and potatoes to a boil together and then let them boil gently until they are fork tender. I hesitate to give you a time because the size of your potatoes might be way different from mine. This time, the potatoes were pretty small, around 2” in diameter. They took about 15 minutes after they reached a boil. The best thing to do is hang nearby while these are cooking.
When they are fork tender, drain and leave in the pot until you are ready for them.
Crispy Bacon is the key counterpoint to a Soft Potato, and The Bacon Grease is the primary flavor Conveyance.
When you are prepare all of the ingredients, be sure to cook the bacon to a good crisp. To do this, start by cutting the bacon into small pieces first. Heat the frying pan on medium and wait until it is hot to put the bacon in. Stir the bacon around the pan a little to make sure that all of the bacon makes contact with frying pan. When it is crisp take the bacon out of the pan and put it in a small bowl along with the bacon grease.
Save the Grease!! This is really important. This is the fat that will carry all of your other flavors and balance the acidity of the mustard and vinegar.
Choose the Right Mustard!
This recipe calls for a coarse mustard. It is important to pick a mustard that is primarily seed and very little puree. The yellow mustards that are common for sandwiches will give the salad an ugly, smudgy look. A coarse mustard looks great and the seeds add a nice texture and bite as well.
Finally, cut the still warm potatoes in half and put in a large bowl with chopped bacon and reserved grease. Finely dice the red onion, green onion, and parsley. Mix everything together in a bowl with coarse mustard, apple cider vinegar, paprika, salt, and pepper. The warm potatoes will take in all of the flavor and warm all of the other ingredients. Serve immediately.
If it does cool off, it is fine to serve it luke warm and cool. After 2 hours out, it should be stored in the refrigerator. It tastes really good cold as well, and shouldn’t be reheated.
Try this beautiful salad with some fun Hot Italian Sub Sliders.
“The man who has nothing to boast of but his illustrious ancestry is like the potato – the best part under ground.” Thomas Overbury
Warm German Potato Salad
- 1.5 lbs Creamer Potatoes small red or new potatoes
- 3 Strips Thick Cut Bacon 1/4 Cup Cooked (Reserve bacon grease)
- 1/4 Cup Diced Red Onion
- 1/4 Cup Diced Green Onion
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Parsley
- 4 Tbsp Coarse Mustard
- 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- Start this dish by rinsing the potatoes and remove any unwanted blemishes. Put them in a pot, and add cool water to cover 1 inch above the potatoes. Put a pinch of salt in the water. Put on the stove and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes cook on a low boil until they are fork tender. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a small skillet on medium heat. Cut up 3 strips of bacon into 1/4″ pieces. Put in the skillet and fry. Stir occasionally to help the bacon brown evenly. When the bacon is nearly crisp. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl. Reserve the bacon drippings in the same bowl. Do not pat dry or remove throw away the grease.
- Wash the parsley and green onions. Chop the parsley into fine bits. Cut the green onions into thin rings. Give the red onion a fine dice. When you are finished, you should have 1/4 cup of each item.
- Cut warm potatoes in half (quarters if they are bigger potatoes) and put them in a large bowl. Potatoes should still be hot. Use tongs to handle the hot potatoes.
- Add warm bacon bits and reserved grease to the potatoes. Add diced onion, green onion, and parsley as well. Add coarse mustard, vinegar, and dry spices. Gently toss the salad until it is evenly mixed. Serve warm.
- This German Potato Salad tastes great cold as well. If you would like to make this dish ahead, simply cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight.