Minnesota Cooking: German Potato Salad
German potato salad is a dish of potatoes, bacon, onion, celery, vinegar, flour salt and water. To describe it.
It's a scalloped potato and bacon dish that has a gravy made with vinegar, so the resulting flavor is sour. I find it to be slightly painful to peel the potatoes, since you must cook the potatoes with the skins on and then, peel them while hot.
I should have worn rubber gloves when I peeled them, but I do not own a pair, so I suffered through.
I used a recipe in the Family Circle Encyclopedia of Cooking. Page 700. The recipe says 6 medium size potatoes. 6 bacon slices. 1 medium onion, chopped. 1/2 cup. 1 cup chopped celery, 1 1/2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper,1/4 cup cider vinegar and 1 cup of water.
They say to cook the potatoes in water. Cook bacon in a large skilled. Saute onions and celery in drippings. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, pepper vinegar and water. Pour over potatoes. Crumble bacon and sprinkle over top. Serve warm.
First, put your five potatoes in a pan and put cold water in the pan until it just covers the potatoes. Add a small amount of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil and then, lightly boil for 20 minutes.
After twenty minutes, drain the potatoes and take a paring knife or a butter knife and rub the potato skin off. It should just rub right off. Slice the potatoes into small pieces and set aside in a covered bowl.
Pan Two First Phase
I used a whole package of bacon. I sliced across the bacon and made many, many small pieces. I then put them into a frying pan and let them fry until they were crisped up. I placed them in the pan as the pan was warming up and then, when the pieces were crispy, I removed them from the pan with a spatula and placed them on a paper towel covered plate to drain.
Save the drippings. You will need to retain at least a quarter cup of the grease to fry your celery and onions.
You will need to dice a cup of celery and a half cup of onion. You can put as much or as little in it as you wish. Some people like celery, some people don't. Some people like onion, some people don't. I think it's flexible.
Pan Two Second Phase
After you remove your bacon from the pan, you'll use the bacon fat to fry your onions and celery. This is called sauteeing. You'll cook the celery and onions until the onions start to look brownish and the celery is softened.
It takes about 20 minutes to accomplish.
Pan Two Third Phases
You'll need some flour, sugar, salt and pepper, vinegar and some water.
The whole point is that you'll be making gravy.
The easiest way to accomplish this, is to take your flour, salt and pepper and add it to the browned bits of onion and celery and stir it around until the flour is mixed in.
Then, add your water and your vinegar to that. It will bubble and thicken.
You can either put your potatoes in a bowl and pour your gravy over the potatoes, or you can put your potatoes into the gravy and keep the heat on.
I would suggest, if you intend to keep it heated, to make a large batch of the gravy so that the dish doesn't get dry. The longer you simmer the potatoes, the less moisture you will have.
The only thing I can figure is that those Germans must have been an impatient lot. When you figure the time it takes to produce this and what you go through to prepare it, I can just imagine a red faced, angry man waiting to eat.
'Where is my dinner?!!!'