If it weren't for my German mother-in-law, I'm not sure I would have been terribly drawn to German cuisine. But her schnitzel, red cabbage, Plum Cake, Terrassen, and this German Potato Salad got me hooked!
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Of course, she doesn't have recipes, really. Just ways of doing things. So while I'm content doing that as well, it's not easy to share with you … or to pass down to MY kids ... if there's no recipe! Over time, I've made notes, tweaked them, made more notes, and tweaked them again to arrive at something that is as close to her potato salad as I can get without her in my kitchen to make it herself!
As many variations as there are of American Potato Salad is as many as there are of German Potato Salad! I've ordered it in restaurants and had it at the Munchen Haus in Leavenworth, WA, on our way to the lake … and nothing has been like Mom C's. And they are all still good and authentic! So if this one doesn't live up to your memories of German Potato Salad, remember that everybody's German mother-in-law has their own recipe!
I usually start the potatoes first because they take the longest to cook, then I put the bacon in the oven, and the eggs in the digital pressure cooker.
If you don't have a digital pressure cooker, boil eggs the way you normally would. However … making boiled eggs is almost a reason to buy one! Once the pot is up to pressure, it takes five minutes, quick-release of the pressure, and into cold water. That is all good and fine, but the best part is how the eggs peel! They almost shed the shell by themselves!
Once the potatoes, eggs, and bacon are cooked, it's just a matter of stirring everything together. There's no harm in cooling the potatoes a bit before chopping, but you can put them in the bowl hot and use a knife to cut through them making rough, bite-sized pieces. Don't cut them too small because they will continue breaking down a bit while you are mixing everything.
The "dressing" is pickle juice or red wine vinegar and bacon grease. Yes, the grease left from cooking the bacon! It's a necessary part of the flavor of German Potato Salad so don't leave it out. Just pour each of these over the ingredients, adjusting for your tastes. Salt and pepper generously, and stir to combine.
This is delicious year round, but we are sure to make it for Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day picnics! Bon Appétit!
More recipes you might like:
German Potato Salad
- 10 medium red potatoes about the size of a child's fist
- 6 eggs boiled and chopped
- 1 cup dill pickles chopped
- ¾ cup scallions diced
- 1 pound bacon cooked and chopped
- ½ cup pickle juice or red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup reserved bacon grease
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and generously salt it. Cover, place over high heat and allow to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, boil the eggs and cook the bacon.
- When potatoes are cooked through, pour the water off and put the potatoes in a large bowl. Cut them into approximate bite size pieces in the bowl. As you mix other things in, they will break down even more so don't cut them too small to start.
- Add the eggs, pickles, scallions, and bacon to the bowl and stir to combine. Pour the pickle juice or red wine vinegar over the ingredients along with the bacon grease and stir. Season generously with salt and pepper.