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Grandma’s German Potato Salad

Grandma's German Potato Salad

This German potato salad has been my favorite since I was a child. Every time we’d go visit my grandmother, I was hoping for this, goulash, and her chicken and dumpling soup. Even if we were going for a day trip, we’d constantly be eating. I think she’s the reason I love cooking for people so much. She gets so much joy from sharing what she prepares. “Eat! EAT!” is something she shouts often. Even if you say you’re full, she’s always asking, “Are you sure you don’t want something to knabbern on?” (Knabbern = nibble)

I’ve helped her make this several times. Every time, she reinforces, “I don’t measure, I just use how much I think and taste it and see. Remember, you can always add, but you can’t take away.” When I made a big batch of this for Easter last weekend, I wrote down all of the proportions I used. If it doesn’t taste exactly like you think it should, just follow Grandma’s advice and adjust to suit your taste.

I deviated from Grandma’s method on a few things. I used red potatoes with the skins on. She uses yellow or white potatoes and peels them. I’ve described both methods in the instructions. She also uses this Heinz Gourmet Salad Vinegar. I’ve had a hard time finding it. They do have a multi-pack on Amazon. My cousin said he’s used rice vinegar instead and it’s worked well, so that’s what I did this time around. Next time, I might try a mix of rice vinegar and red wine vinegar. According to the Heinz website, theirs is white and malt vinegars, which surprises me because I can’t stand malt vinegar. Lastly, she uses canola oil, too, which I left out because of the amount of bacon drippings I used.

This potato salad is served cold, but you could deviate from the recipe serve it warm.

Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 3½ lbs potatoes
    • I used red potatoes, Grandma uses white or yellow
  • 6 strips bacon
  • ¼ cup bacon drippings
  • ½ cup Heinz gourmet salad vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 dashes Maggi liquid seasoning
    • If you can’t find this, just leave it out. There isn’t a good substitute.

Instructions

Boil the potatoes until they’re cooked through. While potatoes are boiling, peel and slice the cucumbers and chop the scallions.

If you’re not leaving the skins on the potatoes, cool then until they’re at a comfortable handling temperature, then peel. Otherwise, skip this step.

Cool the potatoes in the refrigerator, then slice thin. Place the potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Add cucumbers and scallions. Stir to distribute the ingredients and set aside.

Cook the bacon until crispy. Cut into small pieces or crumble. Reserve ¼ cup of the bacon drippings.

Add bacon, dill, parsley, and a little bit of salt (start with ¼ tsp) to the bowl with the potatoes, etc. Stir until the ingredients are evenly coated.

Pour vinegar and bacon drippings over the salad. Add 6 dashes of Maggi. Stir to combine. Taste and add more salt or other ingredients if needed. Refrigerate if not serving right away.

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