German Potato Salad

When I started making this recipe, I thought that I was making a regular potato salad, only with bacon added (yum!!).  But I quickly realized that this is not merely a variation of your average potato salad. Chris Kimball says it’s best served hot. Hot? Not only does it adds bacon, but also drops the mayonnaise.  The onions are sauteed (I miss their crunch), and there is no celery to make up for the onions softness.

The salad was dominated by the 1/2 cup vinegar and mustard, and didn’t have enough other flavors. Really more of a harshly, sweet than a traditional salty flavor. I give this recipe only 2 1/2-stars, but everybody else said that I was being too harsh. My 9 year-old-son whose tastings are always right on, gives it a 4-star.

I prefer my potato salad served cold and crunchy.


  1. I didn’t have German-style mustard so used French-style Dijon instead.

Rating: 2 1/2-star.
Cost: $2.50
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low/Medium.
Started: 1:30.  Ready:  2:00.


4 Responses to German Potato Salad

  1. The recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Website is:

    2 pounds medium red potatoes (1 to 2 inches in diameter), unpeeled, scrubbed, and halved if smaller or quartered if larger
    Table salt
    8 ounces bacon (about 8 strips), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
    1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1 tablespoon whole-grain German-style mustard
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

    1. Place potatoes, 1 tablespoon salt, and water to cover in large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender (thin-bladed paring knife can be slipped into and out of potatoes with little resistance), about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup potato cooking water, then drain potatoes; return potatoes to pot and cover to keep warm.
    2.While potatoes are cooking, fry bacon in large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate; pour off all but 1/4 cup bacon grease. Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat until softened and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in sugar until dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add vinegar and reserved potato cooking water; bring to simmer and cook until mixture is reduced to about 1 cup, about 3 minutes. Off heat, whisk in mustard and pepper. Add potatoes, parsley, and bacon to skillet and toss to combine; adjust seasoning with salt. Transfer to serving bowl and serve.
    Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish. Published September 1, 2003.

  2. I’m so glad I found your blog! I found it when searching for a Cook’s Illustrated Potato Salad recipe. I’m so excited to read more of your results! It’s just so funny and fun: critiquing the recipes that are completely critiqued to begin with! Genius!

  3. Chris’ description of German Potato salad is exactly what German potato salad is….

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