Ah potato salad. How I love thee. Actually, sometimes I don’t. Let me rephrase. Ah potato salad, how I sometimes love thee (that’s maybe more like real love anyway.)
I love the idea of potato salad, but sometimes it’s just gross. Sometimes it just tastes like potatoes covered in mayo with a hint of mustard. I don’t think that is yummy, I don’t know about you. A long time ago, I started trying to pin down what makes a potato salad that I like. I realize that this might be different for different people. But for me it was all about the acid. I like a potato salad with a big zip of pickle juice or vinegar. My family has a thing for vinegar. My dad would put it one his breakfast cereal if he could.
Then I ate my in-laws version of potato salad. German potato salad is different than a classic american potato salad. It has the most important component. A nice tangy vinegar kick. And, to make it even better, it isn’t laden with mayonnaise. This is a family staple and we eat it at most summer gatherings.
I admit that I like a stronger vinegar flavor than my in-laws do. I enjoy being punched in the face with that flavor. While my sister-in-law Jaci likes a subtle vinegar flavor. If you like a strong vinegar flavor, then go with the recipe below. If you like it a little more subtle, then you can always cut the vinegar.
Begin by peeling and cubing 5 lbs of potatoes. Then boiling them until just tender in salted water. If you over cook them then they will just fall apart when you try to mix up the salad.
Mix up your dressing while the potatoes are boiling. Heat up 1/2 cup vinegar (you can use apple cider for a more subtle flavor or white for a stronger flavor) with 1/4 cup sugar until the sugar dissolves.
Then add the celery seed and salt. Whisk right before you pour over the potatoes.
It is essential that you pour the dressing over the potatoes while they are still warm. As they cool, they will suck the flavor into the potato. This really eliminates the bland potato problem. (Remember to cut the vinegar if you don’t want a really strong vinegar flavor.)
Gently stir the potatoes as the cool to distribute the dressing. At first there will be lots of liquid in the bottom of the bowl, but it will eventually disappear miraculously
While the potatoes cool, crisp up about 12 slices of bacon cut into pieces.
Once the bacon is cooked, remove the bacon and almost all the bacon fat. Leave just a little bit on the bottom of the skillet.
Cook about 1 cup of diced onion in the remaining bacon renderings over medium heat. Remove when they have turned translucent and have lost their crunch, about 5-7 minutes.
Chop 2-3 large stalks of celery.
When the potatoes have cooled add 2 tablespoons mayonnaise. It doesn’t look like it is enough, but it will be.
Gently stir to coat.
Now add the bacon, celery, and onion to the coated potatoes.
Mix gently again. Do you see at trend here?
Let it sit for a while before serving for best flavor. Or just eat it.
I seriously love this stuff!!!
Recipe Source: Linda and Jaci