Authentic German Potato Salad (Bavarian Kartoffel Salat), from My "Mutti"

I have finally made the decision to "sell out" and go against  my brothers, niece and son's desire to keep this recipe a secret-- and share my  Heirloom Recipe for Bavarian Style German Potato Salad! Trust me, this was something my family said I shouldn't do. But, you know--all of you readers of my little ole' blog are my friends. We're "family", don't you think, by now? So, when "Mattie" left a comment on my other new blog "Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman" that said:

And am patiently, patiently waiting for Debby to post her Mutti's Poatato Salad recipe. I'm just a wanna be hack who doesn't have a food blog but is totally inspired by you all! Oh please pick me for the cookbook!! November 17, 2009 11:52 AM 

Well, Mattie, you don't have a profile where I can personally write to you, so I am publicly saying to you that you twisted my arm!  Are you ready to make real German potato salad?

I have always made this recipe from memory, without measuring. This time, I did my best to measure what ingredients I put into this potato salad recipe.  I still have to tell you, that you need to adjust seasonings to fit your needs. There are a few important things I need to tell you, though--
Yukon Golds are perfect for this salad. Russet potatoes don't work for this.Unlike other German potatoes salad recipes I've seen, this is never served hot! My mother would faint at that thought! Plus, this salad is not meant to have a lot of sugar in it.  It is meant to taste savory, with just a slight tartness of vinegar (red wine vinegar works best for me), with a subtle taste of dill-- seriously, just a little dill, because it can be overpowering.  You want the taste of red onion, but again, it shouldn't dominate the flavor.Bacon is essential, but don't go crazy with it. It's all about "balance" ... well, let me show you!Begin with the prep of your ingredients:

One small red onion, diced (about 1 cup) and 1/2 pound of bacon, sliced thin (lardons). This bacon was sliced, frozen. It's much easier and it will thaw as it cooks.

Cook the bacon until crispy, drain on a paper towel and reserve about 2 Tablespoons of the bacon fat. Finely chop the bacon and set aside.

Boil five pounds of Yukon Golds and try to choose them even in size. Drain and allow to cool just enough to where...

... I will show you a cool way to peel potatoes, very fast!  Hold a potato in one hand, inside a clean tea towel. With the other hand, grab the end of the towel and rub the peel away-- just like that!

There they are-- naked and cooked. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes to mush, okay?

In a big bowl, I cut the potato in half, then into fairly thin slices-- about 1/4 ".  The potatoes are still warm...that's good!

I add kosher salt (never table salt), fresh cracked pepper and evenly pour the vinegar over the warm potatoes. This will help the absorb all that flavor!

Add your ingredients you've prepped-- onion, bacon an dill...

 Add the bacon fat and a little chicken stock... (I had run out of my homemade chicken stock, but "boxed" is fine)

Now here's a little secret ingredient my mother added-- about 1/4 cup of Japanese Rice Vinegar. Yep!  You don't have to do this, but I've grown to like her adaptation. Add some oil (olive oil doesn't work well, for some reason....but try it, if you prefer). Start with about 1/2 cup vegetable oil.  I add about 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Now, gently mix-- don't crush the potatoes. Gentle!

You're almost there. The trickiest part is getting the oil and vinegar ratio down. I add a little oil at a time-- no more than 1 cup. I want to see a sheen on the potatoes, but I don't want them swimming in oil and soupy. Make sense? Taste, taste and taste some more! I like just a gentle bite of vinegar, and I add a little salt at a time until it tastes right. I like to make this at least an hour before serving.

My mother made this every single morning, when she owned her Delicatessen in downtown Monterey, California.  Her regular customers would snatch it up, and it would sell out in one hour! For real!

This is how I love to eat this potato salad-- with German Wiener Wurstl. In "American" that would be veal sausages. These are so darn good! This is part of what I served at my Oktoberfest Party, but I could eat it any time of the year.

You would honor my mother's memory if you make this salad and serve it at room temperature. It's good cold, but room temperature is best. I am going to have to make Mutti's Pork Roast with au jus gravy that is poured over this. Oh my! It's been too many years since I've made that.

Well, my beloved family-- forgive me for sharing Mutti's secret recipe.  I think the whole world should enjoy this.  It's my mother's signature dish that she passed down to me.  Well,  Austrian Goulash is also our signature dish.  Mattie, my dear Blog Reader, I hope you try making this. I'd love to know what you think of it.

Here's the printable recipe (at the very bottom of the page). If you're reading this via Feedburner or your Google Reader, then please JUMP to my blog!

From my Heirloom Recipe in my fuzzy memory to you,

German Potato Salad Heirloom RecipeMy Mutti was born and raised in Bavaria, and I ...
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Although the recipe isn't written traditionally (with measurements and what not), it does make a truly fabulous German potato salad! Thanks so much for sharing this treasure!

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Kuba, 11/08/2017

Can't find a printable recipe?

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Thank you for sharing my German mother made this almost identical recipe.

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I really want to make this recipe but you didn't mention what vinegar or how much you used in the step where you added the salt and pepper. Also, about how much chicken stock did you use approximately? So the rice vinegar is the second vinegar you add? Thanks!

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