No creamy dressing that can spoil in the summer heat – just a little oil, a little vinegar, a good deal of bacon, and a whole lot of flavor! This makes the perfect side dish for your barbecue needs!
Back when I was in my 20s and thought I was indestructable, I made some lousy food choices while out at buffets and luaus with friends and got brought down by food poisoning twice. Both times, the culprits were creamy salads left out in the summer heat. Dumb, I know. But oh, did I pay for it.
Since that time, I’ve done my research and learned a few things. For one, commercial mayonnaise is actually treated and made acidic so that it runs less risk of growing bacteria if left out. For another, that treatment is totally negated by the introduction of a bunch of low acid foods – like potatoes – in potato salad. And third, foodborne bacteria, once they get a foothold, can multiply by a factor of ten in an hour in 90-degree-plus heat! Ewwwwwww.
No matter what your food is, you shouldn’t leave it out for more than 30-45 minutes in this summer heat. Even if you can avoid the creamy salads.
This German potato salad is a great alternative, but still needs to be consumed pretty quickly or refrigerated for safety purposes. Lucky for us, it’s delicious, so making sure it’s consumed quickly usually isn’t a problem!
German potato salad features new potatoes and a goodly amount of bacon and is typically served warm with a tangy vinegary dressing. I’m still looking up the history behind it, but my husband says his German grandmother made a similar version and it was a big deal in her Ohio community. We’re going to see if his folks can dig up her recipe so we can see what the authentic one tastes like.
In the meantime, this one is a family favorite. It’s a hodge-podge of family recommendations and my husband’s recollections made by a cook whose California roots contained none of this, so – the short version, we aren’t the authentic deal and we’re not trying to be. We’re just sharing a dish my family thinks is extremely tasty and that goes great with whatever comes off your grill or smoker.
We use a mixture of red and gold new potatoes for this because they steam well without falling apart. But as always, feel free to experiment!
German Potato Salad
- August 12, 2020
- 45 min
- Print this
- 2 lbs new potatoes (traditionally red)
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp stone ground dijon mustard
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Step 1
- Dice the potatoes and place in a steamer basket in a large pot over about 1-1/2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, and then lower heat to medium and steam the potatoes for about 25 minutes, or until they’re fork tender.
- Step 2
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon and set on parchment paper to dry, and chop when cooled.
- Step 3
- Don’t clean out the skillet, although you can drain out a little of the grease into a coffee can if you need to (not your sink!). Add the onions to the skillet and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about an additional 30 seconds.
- Step 4
- Add the chicken broth, vinegar, mustard, and sugar and simmer the onion mixture until the liquid is reduced by half.
- Step 5
- Crumble in the chopped bacon and add the potatoes and olive oil, and stir until the potatoes are coated well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Step 6
- Toss with the parsley and serve warm. If you’re not serving it right away, like any other food, stick it in the fridge!
Keep that food safe even when you’re not outside!
What are your favorite summer barbecue sides?