Roasted German Potato Salad
I am good at some things and real lousy at others. One of the things I am lousy at is making potato salad. I am talking about the classic American Potato Salad with gobs of mayonnaise and hard-boiled eggs. When it comes to what goes in the salad I’m fine; where I fail is in the cooking of the potatoes. I screw it up every time so somewhere along the line I just gave up. Apparently the potato-boiling gene must have skipped a generation. I always ended up with either crunchy potatoes (yuk) or mashed potato salad (even worse). This is the real reason why I became the master of macaroni salad. Then one day a little oven light went on in my head…why not roast them? Just like that ‘Roasted German Potato Salad’ was born. For me roasting potatoes is much more forgiving than boiling. Not only are the results consistent every time, but I prefer the flavor, texture and color of roasted potatoes over their boiled counterparts. As an added bonus, it is also easier to prepare and I just love the crisp browned edges. Preparing them in this manner also means you can leave the skin on which is always my favorite part of the potato anyway. Roasting also results in a drier potato allowing them to really soak up the dressing making for a very tasty salad. As it turns out, this is a perfect technique for preparing German Potato Salad.
I didn’t grow up eating German Potato Salad, but I have really grown to love it. In addition to just enjoying it, it also has about half the calories of classic American Potato Salad. You can take the calorie count down even further by using Canadian bacon or ham instead of regular bacon. I prefer using applewood-smoked bacon myself. This salad is best when it is just made and still hot. It’s also wonderful after sitting for a while or even cold. I even like it leftover, heated up in the morning with eggs. Enjoy!
- 3 pounds Yukon potatoes, cubed (do not peel)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ pound bacon
- 1 large onion, chopped
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- ⅛ cup water
- ⅛ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2-4 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- Toss the cubed potatoes lightly with olive oil and roast in a 375 degree oven for 35-40 min or until lightly browned and cooked all the way through. For more even browning, roast them on a lightly oiled baking sheet and toss slightly about halfway through the cooking time (make sure not to overcrowd them). While the potatoes are roasting, fry the bacon in a medium-sized skillet until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Drain all but about a tablespoon of drippings from the pan and sauté the onion in the same pan until it is browned. Lower the heat and add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper and stir to dissolve the sugar and heat throughout. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped parsley. When the potatoes are done, transfer them to a large mixing bowl along with the cooked and crumbled bacon. Pour the warm dressing over the potatoes and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning adding more salt, pepper or vinegar as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.