German Potato Salad
It's easy to understand why Americans claimed this lively German classic as our own. With strong flavors like mustard and vinegar, the trick is getting the balance just right.
Why This Recipe Works
Mild, waxy red potatoes were the best choice for German Potato Salad, as they held their shape after being boiled. To speed up the cooking time, we cut them into thin slices before cooking. Adding vinegar to the cooking water both seasoned the potatoes and slowed the dissolving of pectin—the glue that holds the cells in vegetables together. This let the potato slices stay firmer longer and made it hard to overcook them. To ramp up the flavor even more, we developed a quick, 20-minute homemade pickle. We sliced and marinated a cucumber in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt, and dried dill. For the base of the dressing, we started with bacon—and lots of it. After we reserved a bit of the rendered bacon fat, we added olive oil to cut the fat’s heaviness before sautéing onions until softened and lightly browned.