Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pennsylvania German Tuesday-Heart Attack in a Bowl

Take a good look at this. This, my friends, is a little bowl of heaven. This is a sweet and sour pile of bacony happiness. This is German Potato Salad. This is my grammy's recipe. Don't even talk to me about cold potato salad made with some slimy, mayonnaise based dressing. These are red potatoes coated in hot bacon dressing. Mmmmmm.....excuse me for a minute...oooohhh yeah......Are you drooling yet? Just be careful, you don't want to short out your keyboard. Since it would be cruel of me to tempt you thusly and provide no relief I am prepared to share the treasure that is my grammy's recipe.


First, you need to get a hold of a pound of bacon and dice it up. I find that easier than frying the strips and crumbling it up later. However, if you really dig getting your fingers all greasy, knock yourself out. Mmmmmm, smell the bacon frying. I can feel my arteries harden as it fries. You want to make sure you fry it very crisp because when it goes in the dressing I think it is gross if it's all limp and soggy. Eeewww. I just made myself ill even considering it. I am open minded enough to accept you may want flaccid bacon in your salad, I just don't want it in mine. Once it is fried to an appropriate level of crispness take the bacon pieces out of the pan and put them on a plate. Now, get ready because here is where your arteries all contract in unison and you go into cardiac shock....DO NOT drain the bacon fat out. You need it to make the dressing. Yeah, see that title up there? I believe in truth in advertising. I warned you.


Into the frying pan full of bacon grease you are going to add 2 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (Ok, if you only have white vinegar I won't argue with you.), and two beaten eggs. Take some of the water and make a roux with 4 Tbsp of flour and black pepper to taste then add that back into the rest of the liquid before you pour it all in the pan full of grease.






It's going to look fairly vile when you add it all together. Just close your eyes for a moment and smell the bacon. Forget how it looks. But stir it constantly over medium heat until it bubbles and thickens.














Keep stirring. In a few minutes it will look like this. Much more appetizing, no? Yes, I thought you'd agree. I forgot to tell you earlier that you'll want to dice up 4 stalks of celery. That's not actually in Grammy's original recipe but that's my own tweak because I do like something a little crunchy in my potato salad and NOT undercooked spuds. Once the dressing looks like thick gravy and you turn off the heat you can throw the diced up celery and fried bacon pieces into it.





Oh yeah, I never quite told you about the spuds either did I? Well, before you ever started frying the bacon and inhaling the joyous aroma that is sizzling pork fat you want to have cut up and boiled 5 pounds of red potatoes. Can you make this with other kinds of potatoes? Technically, yes you can, but it would just be WRONG. My grammy won't come haunt you or anything. She was a very gracious sort. Sadly, I lack the level of virtue she achieved. I will glare at you menacingly until you use the red potatoes. Don't get an attitude with me. I cut you slack on how you want to fry your bacon and what kind of vinegar to use. If you want to go against me on the spud issue go ahead just don't go calling it my grammy's recipe. I can't abide that sort of heresy. But I digress....Ok, so there in the back is the hot bacon dressing all completed. In the front are the just boiled spuds. Please notice we keep the skins ON the spuds. This is another important consideration. I didn't like that when I was a kid. Grammy told me to eat my potato skins, they'd put hair on my chest. I was aghast. "Grammy! I'm a girl! I don't want hair on my chest!" I learned to eat my potato skins. Now I can't live without them. I am happy to report my chest does not sport any excess hair. And NO, I will not be offering photographic proof. You'll just have to take my word for it.


So now is the magic moment when hot dressing meets warm potatoes and you stir it all around. Now be gentle so you don't wind up with mashed potatoes, ok? Of course, it also helps if you don't cook the spuds to mush. This pot here has no calories because I used my handy-dandy, industrial strength calorie extractor on it. No calories whatsoever (she says with fingers crossed behind her back).

Ok, so I lied when I said it has no calories. It probably has about 4000 calories per bite. But when the magic moment where spud meets mouth occurs, trust me, you.will.not.care. Don't believe me? Ok, well when I made it this weekend for a picnic and a chef type guy I know, who also teaches other who wannabe chefs, took a bite of this he said, "This is seriously the best German Potato Salad in the world. That's some old school goodness. I need you to come talk to my students." (When I explained the recipe to him I thought he'd weep because I used the word "roux." Apparently his students have a mental block against the concept of a roux. Personally, I have a mental block against flour lumps in my potato salad, hence I have embraced the roux. Sing it with me...Roux, roux, roux your sauce, gently in the pan....) While my favorite way to have this is when it's all still warm, if you should happen to have any left it's not half bad cold either.

Lime's Grammy's German Potato Salad

5 lbs red skin potatoes, cut up and boiled
1 lb. bacon, diced and fried crisp

4 stalks celery, diced

2 cups water

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 eggs, beaten

4 Tbsp flour


-While spuds boil, fry the bacon. Remove bacon from pan when done but reserve the bacon grease.
-Make a roux with the flour and a little of the water.
-Mix together water, sugar, cider, eggs, and the roux then pour it into the pan of grease.
-Stir over medium heat until it bubbles and thickens.
-Remove from heat and add the bacon pieces and diced celery into the dressing.
-Pour dressing over cooked potatoes.

Fress up! (That means "Eat!")

33 comments:

Evil Lunch Lady said...

Oh Man! I love that stuff! And nobody is alive anymore (family)who can or will make it! My mouth is still watering!

74WIXYgrad said...

What, no BAM!?

Sounds like cholesterol building goodness. Might go real good with a Hardees Philly Monster thick burger.

Only your cardiologist knows for sure.

Jeni said...

Not fair! You should post a warning about things like this to people reading this at 6 a.m. cause seeing your pictures, reading about all the good flavored stuff in this potato salad, has me yearning for some -right now -and I don't think it would work as breakfast fare, would it? Oh heck, I suppose the time of day really doesn't make a lick of difference though. Your recipe here does sound seriously delish though! And that's coming from someone who has never been a big fan of German potato salad. But then again, I've never tried yours so that could be the reason I've not been a big fan of this. Will definitely have to give this recipe a shot.
Thanks, and Peace.

snowelf said...

Morning Lime! :) I am not a fan of cold potato salad either--I've never had the kind your grandma makes, but it looks good enough to eat!! :)
Hope all is well and the Limelettes are enjoying themselves now that school is out. :)

--snow

James Goodman, Author said...

oh, that looks absolutely yummy, Lime. I may have to make a big batch of that soon. :D

Breazy said...

It may be full of calories and clog every artery I have but from the looks of it, it would be well worth it all!

That actually sounds delicious and I do believe I will have to try it because everyone in my family are big potato salad eaters.

Thanks for sharing!

furiousBall said...

that looks awesome lime, seriously.

EmBee said...

It's my experience that nearly EVERY food item which hails from 'Amish Country' is a calorie busting, carb filled, fat fest... And I love every bit of it! However I, unlike the Amish am not out plowing the back forty each and every day.

G-Man said...

*sniff*
That was beautiful.....
xoxox

Phain said...

Momma always told me that you used red potatoes for 'tater salad because they hold up better when you mix it all together. White potatoes would just go all to mush. Now I might have to post the "southern style" of potato salad sometime soon. I will have to admit though, I don't like warm 'tater salad. But I don't want it freezing cold out of the fridge either. I guess since I've mostly had it at picnics and church suppers, it's more room temperature. Yeah yeah yeah, mayo at room temp, blah blah blah whatever - I'm still alive.

S said...

That sort of cookin' is darn near illegal in California. I believe that an attempt to make, eat, or serve anything with that much bacon/grease in it would be twarted by the CNP*

Have a lovely day Lime!

*That's California Nutrition Police!

Craver Vii said...

Yumm!!

It is not at all surprising that you can turn a recipe into such an entertaining read! You have a gift; that is for sure!

"It's going to look fairly vile when you add it all together..." I think that's what the photographer said a few decades ago when my siblings and I sat for a family photo.

San said...

My husband lived in Germany for a couple of years and he's mentioned the potato salad a few times. THANK YOU for this delicious-sounding recipe. I will have to try my hand at it, but I don't know if I have the proper DNA to infuse it with the required magic.

lecram said...

Dang! I really should go out and get insurance before attempting this, huh? lol. Looks delicious. Cheers!

S said...

I hate when things get twarted!:P

SignGurl said...

I am hoping to someday taste the sweetness that is Lime's Grandma's German Potato Salad, that Lime cooked :)

Kathryn said...

Wow, does that remind me of my grandma. I can almost smell it. :)

Fred said...

After this, I'm headed to the 'fridge to fress up!

coopernicus said...

MMMMmmmmmm....bacon....aghagahagahagh

I love potato salad, period. Cold or hot - sorry I do have a fondness for the vinegary deli potato salad. But this recipe looks awesome as well.

Rob said...

Isn't it axiomatic that EVERYTHING tastes better with bacon grease? Yes, I think so...

airplanejayne said...

I am still laughing, and I don't know if it's over flaccid bacon, limp and soggy, roux, roux, roux or the 4000 calorie bite.


But seriously now, WHERE do I buy the calorie extractor!?!?!?!?

M said...

mmmmm.....bacon.....mmmmmm

mssolitaire said...

Holy crap that looks delish! Yum! :)

Ok... for the culinary-challenged... roux??? Anything like sifting??

LOL :)

BTExpress said...

That sounds so good, but it would surely kill me if I ever ate it. Can I have just a little taste?

david mcmahon said...

Brilliant. When I make it, can I double the bacon?

Beach Bum said...

I'll have to give this one a try. Down here in the deep dark South the cold mayo or for my family mustard-based potato salad is what we grew up with. Your recipe looks fantastic.

ciara said...

looks absolutely delicious, but it's way too much effort for an instant heart attack ha.

Mona said...

Ah! That is wonderful indeed. We make the same with fine diced meat and potatoes and also add some home made pasta to it & it turns out really yum. It is called Sutriyaan in our language!

PS> The cooking roux does not look vile...it looks like a painting...

KFarmer said...

OMG~! Heaven in a bowl! I'm gonna have to try that recipe out FOR SURE. My Grandmother (maiden name was Shultz) made a pototao salad similar to this (she added celery and diced red peppers) and it sho was :)

Moosekahl said...

It is heaven! We had an elderly German woman in my home town that still spoke with an accent and was about as tall as she was round that made this for every social affair. It literally is heaven on your tongue. And I think you HAVE to use apple cider vinegar...it just tastes better.

Jocelyn said...

I have to hook my laptop up to the printer now. Bacon? In the salad? How could I have never known something that makes such complete sense?

tsduff said...

It has been WAAAYYY too long since I've enjoyed German Potato Salad made in the manner of your Grammy... I think it is high time I got with it. I use Bragg cider vinegar, as well as Bragg Amino stuff... hippie food you know. Just the thing to get me out of this deep horrid cold I'm drowning in. Roux roux roux your sauce... sings along ;)

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Nothing smells or tastes as good as bacon! Greasy goodness!