I found this recipe for German potato salad in an old cookbook the other day. The “National Cook Book” was published in 1856 and is available online at the Project Gutenberg site. The recipe for German potato salad in the book matches my Dad’s description of the potato salad his grandmother made except it contains no mustard or bacon. He always said the version of potato salad Mom served didn’t have enough onions and mustard and complained it didn’t contain bacon. Mom only used a quarter of a raw onion and that would have made a huge difference in flavor compared to this recipe.
This recipe is high on my must try as soon as possible list. It is a very simple recipe but I believe it will be high in flavor because of the amount of onion and the method. The recipe doesn’t say how many servings can be expected. It calls for six potatoes and I would expect the completed recipe should serve around 4 to 6 adults.
The salad would be best served warm but it could also be served cold. It would be a good salad to make ahead for quick weekday and weekend meals as well as to have on hand in the refrigerator for late night snacking. The salad could be reheated in the microwave.
Another German Potato Salad
- 6 potatoes, peeled and left whole
- 6 onions, peeled and left whole
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Vinegar, to taste
- Mustard, to taste (my addition)
Put the 6 whole peeled potatoes and the 6 whole peeled onions in separate pans. Cover each vegetable with water, add a couple pinches of salt and bring each to a boil. Cook the vegetables over medium heat until both the potatoes and onions are tender. They will take approximately the same amount of time.
Remove the potatoes and onions from the pans. Wipe out the pan the potatoes were cooked in and put the onions in it. Mash the onions. Slice the potatoes and add to the onions. Add butter, pepper, salt, vinegar and mustard to taste. Heat and stir until heated through and serve.
No potato or onion size is mentioned in the recipe. When the cook book was published potatoes were smaller than the ones we find today. So this recipe is an experiment. When I try it I plan on using at least 4 large potatoes or 6 small and 1 large onion or enough small onions to equal the amount a large onion would provide.
The mustard is my addition. Use prepared mustard as spicy as you like. Horseradish, crushed red pepper or dry mustard can be added for more heat. All the versions of potato salad my family made contained mustard and because I like mustard I always add it.
Sliced hard cooked eggs can be added and used as garnish.
Other possible additions; sliced radishes, ripe olives, small diced tomato, diced celery, diced carrots, diced green and red peppers, diced, crumbled or shredded cheese, diced cooked meats, cooked poultry or flaked cooked fish.
If you want to add crisp bacon to the salad dressing use part bacon fat instead of the butter called for in the recipe. You can make a nice dressing by combining warm bacon fat in a frying pan with vinegar and the seasonings and then stir in the crisp bacon bits before tossing the dressing with the potatoes and onions.
If you really can’t eat potato salad without it being covered in mayo you could put some on the table and let people add their own.