I know you’ve seen me post pictures of this on my Facebook Page so I figured it was time to spill the secret. German Potato Salad is made two ways from what I’ve learned while living in Germany. There is the way the northerners make it and the way the southerners make it. The one ingredient that makes the difference, mayo. Thankfully, for my waistline I lived in the South where they opted out of using mayonnaise for this very common dish!
Many moons ago I asked Toblerone’s mom for her recipe for Kartoffelsalat and she wrote it out for me. I use it like there is nothing else in the world that matters. That stays with me in a special place. If I ever lost it, I would be lost. There is something about having a recipe handwritten that makes it feel more like a sacred piece of family history. Same goes for recipes my mom has written.
On with it already, Kaitlin.
First things first…the ingredients here in the US are not exact but I will try to help you through it best I can!
You will need:
Note: Some people cheat and use this little package by Knorr to “fix” Potato salad (See little packet on the right hand side of the picture.) We are doing things the original way today!
Potatoes – peeled, and cut in half if they are large. I normally use about 7-8 potatoes just for the two of us (Toblerone loves his leftovers!), or an entire 1lb bag or more for larger groups. (I use the yellow/golden potatoes. They are closest to the potatoes in Germany. Yes…even those are different.)
1 Onion – chopped in small pieces. (This time around I used a red onion for color. )
Distilled white vinegar
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Bouillon (powdered if you can find it. Mixed in warm water – about a 1/2 cup.) I use Knorr Delikatess Brühe (shown below) which you can find on many German import food websites. If you want to get the taste correct, trust me…you need this stuff. I’ve tried others I found in the import aisles at grocery stores and its all sorts of wrong. Threw out many batches because of this small ingredient!
How it’s done:
Peel your potatoes and cut in half. They will cook faster when they are smaller. Place in pot and boil until soft or a knife goes through easily.
Chop the onion in small pieces and throw into a large bowl. I always use my tupperware bowls because that would be very un-German of me if I didn’t use my tupperware.
Once potatoes are done, drain water. Let sit until they aren’t scorching. If they are still warm I rinse them off with cold water before handling. DO NOT BURN YOURSELVES. IT’S NOT WORTH IT!!!! Once cooled, you will grab a potato and with a knife almost shave the potato over the bowl until it is in small pieces.
Should look like this at the end:
Now, here is where the recipe gets a little confusing. There are no real measurements. This is a “feel-it-out” situation as is any good recipe. First add the vinegar. I usually make a circle as I pour and that is usually enough to start. You don’t want a big pour. Little at a time is better so you can taste test it. Too much is hard to correct. Start small.
Next up, add the Bouillon that is premixed in warm water . Also in a circular motion. Add your salt and pepper…also a taste as you go thing.
At the end I do the same with the oil. Circular motion. The idea is not to make the potatoes swim. It’s a salad after all…not a soup, people!! A lot of the watery bits will soak into the Potatoes but you don’t want a puddle at the bottom of your bowl.
Mix gently to get the flavors going.
Most important part of the process….LET IT SIT. Do not touch it. Let it sit on the counter for a while. Not in the fridge. Not in the garage. Just let it sit. Let the flavors work into it. Potato salad is served room temperature in Germany. So be German and do just that. Afterwards of course, whatever is left….if there is any left you can place in the fridge.
And…TA DA! There you have it….You just learned how to make a very Swabian styled Potato Salad. I bet your Omi would be oh so proud!
Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo
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