Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Auntie Lu's Outstanding German Potato Salad

Good food / recipes, Living well on less $

Good German potato salad is a difficult thing to find. To my husband, there really is no other kind of potato salad, except German. The deli varieties and even restaurant offerings are always a disappointment, but my Auntie Lu's German potato salad, ah, now you are talking delicious!

Auntie Lu has been the potato salad guru in my family for years, but a recipe was illusive. She just made it without a written recipe. Her daughters-in-law, wanting to duplicate her delicacy, finally watched her make it. They measured each ingredient as she put it in, observed the order and timing of preparation, and wrote it down. Thanks to their efforts, even I can make it now. So can you!

The first step is to make the sauce. You can also use this sauce as hot bacon dressing on a spinach salad. (When I heat the dressing for a salad [for 4], I use about 1/3 C sauce and just add maybe 1 T cider vinegar, sugar, and olive oil to thin it a little. Then I pour the warm dressing over spinach, bacon pieces, walnuts, and sliced hard boiled eggs.) 

My recipe makes 5# of potato salad. 


1 pound bacon - Slowly fry in a large, heavy pan until very crisp -  Remove the bacon and set aside, but KEEP GREASE

1 large chopped onion -  Put chopped onion into the bacon grease and slowly fry until translucent

1/2 C + 2 T white flour - Stir this into the bacon and onion mixture. Slowly heat and stir until thick and bubbly (like a Roux)

1 1/2 C water - Add this into the fry pan goo. Mix thoroughly. It will get very white and opaque, and you will think you ruined it. You did not.

1 C WHITE vinegar - Add this right after the water. Stir until incorporated. (You must use white vinegar. For years I used cider vinegar and could not figure out why my potato salad did not taste quite up to par. In a conversation with Auntie Lu, as to why my salad never quite measured up, she said, Do you use white vinegar? That was it!)

2 C white sugar - Add this into the mix. You will notice the goo changes from opaque to translucent :)

1 T + 1 t. salt - Stir this in too

Now you have the basic sauce made. It can be kept in a glass jar/s for a long time in the refrigerator. I often make a batch of sauce and then use it for the next month or so for smaller meal sized batches of potato salad or making spinach salads.

Finishing the salad

Boil 5 pounds of red potatoes. I wash them and cut them in half or quarters if they are not small (they cook quicker.) Russet potatoes will work in a pinch, but do not have that characteristic waxy, firm texture.

Cook potatoes until a fork can be inserted in the potato, so they are cooked but still firm. (You might want to try one for proper consistency: too crunchy isn't good either.)

Drain off the hot water, pour in cold, and let potatoes soak a bit. As soon as you can touch them, start rubbing the peelings off. They should come off rather easily. You can leave the skins on for a more peasant type salad, but then scrub them more thoroughly before cooking. Cut out any imperfections and eyes.

Slice the cooked potatoes into 1/4 inch or so slices and put in a large pot with the sauce. (You can wash out your potato cooking pot and return them to it, or if you are doing the sauce and salad on the same day, place the sliced potatoes into the fry pan with the sauce.)

Crumble or chop the crispy bacon and add to the mix. 

Gently heat sauce, potatoes, and bacon together, mixing carefully. The sauce will soak into the potatoes at this point. If it gets too thick, you can add a little water to thin.

Add 1/2 C chopped fresh parsley. (You can use dried in a pinch, but fresh is better.)

You are finished! 

Potato salad may be served cold, room temp. or warmed.

To serve, garnish with hard cooked egg slices and more bacon crumbles and chopped parsley if desired. 


Of course, no recipe is written in stone. If you like yours a little less sweet or more salty, etc. just adjust accordingly.




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