Grandma Cay left a black recipe binder filled with family favorites. Her famous Rum Balls were there, along with her Sour Cream Coffee Cake and plenty of recipes clipped from magazines. The binder starts with cookies and then moves onto salads (these are the priorities in my family!). The latter is where I found this German Potato Salad recipe.
I knew it had to be the real deal—Grandma adored learning about family history and her ancestors emigrated from Germany. The recipe was absent from many instructions but the ingredients were there, so I set to work.
This German Potato Salad recipe called out to me for one big reason: I can’t stand mayonnaise. So I usually steer clear of any and all potato salads. But this one has no mayo to be found. The potatoes are coated in a sweet and tangy mixture of white wine vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, and…bacon grease. For real! That is what makes the salad so delicious.
It starts with frying 4 strips of bacon, and then you use the bacon grease to cook the onions and celery. The white wine vinegar and sugar come next, followed by dry mustard for a hint of flavor. It creates a sweet and tangy sauce to hold the potatoes and crumbled bacon.
Grandma topped off her German Potato Salad with hard boiled eggs, and I made the addition of chopped chives for color. I’m pretty sure she would approve!
The nice thing about this salad is that it’s great for picnics or other outdoor events. It can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold, and you don’t have to worry about any mayonnaise sitting out in the warm summer weather. Longe particularly enjoyed it cold straight from the fridge!
I served Grandma’s German Potato Salad with Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Peach Salsa (recipe coming soon), and Corn on the Cob with Herb Compound Butter. It was the perfect summer meal!
Grandma’s German Potato Salad
A traditional recipe from my Grandma, whose ancestors emigrated from Germany.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 45
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dishes
- Cuisine: German
- 6 large red potatoes, chopped into ¾ inch cubes
- 2 eggs
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 3½ teaspoons kosher salt
- For garnish: chopped fresh chives
- Place the cubed potatoes in a large saucepan. Add cold water to the pan, covering the potatoes by one inch. Place the pan over high heat and add 2 teaspoons kosher salt to the water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 8–10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.
- Meanwhile, place the 2 eggs in a small saucepan. Add cold water to the pan, covering the eggs by one inch. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit for 8 minutes. Drain the eggs and place in a bowl of ice water. Allow to cool. Peel the eggs by gently tapping the egg on the countertop until the shell is cracked all over. Slide your thumb under the cracked shell and gently remove all pieces of shell from the egg. Slice the eggs thinly.
- While the potatoes and eggs are cooking, place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon, flipping occasionally, until crisp. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside. Do not drain the bacon grease.
- Add the onion and celery to the bacon grease and cook until soft, about 4–5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the white wine vinegar, water, sugar, dry mustard, and remaining 1½ teaspoons salt. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. Turn off the heat.
- Add the potatoes to the onion and vinegar mixture, and stir to combine.
- Crumble the bacon and stir half of the bacon into the potato mixture.
- Transfer the potato salad to a serving dish and top with the remaining bacon, sliced hard boiled eggs, and chopped chives. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold. (We enjoy it all three ways, but my husband particularly enjoys it cold!)
The recipe can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold.
Keywords: potato salad, side dishes