Potatoes have been around for at least 7000 years. I find it kind of funny how much we love them, especially since they weren’t held in high regard up until about 200 years ago. Because the potato is considered a member of the Nightshade family, the leaves of the plant are highly poisonous, so they weren’t really considered a food for the dinner table. They were usually reserved for feeding prison inmates and pigs….and…. if people were eating them at home for meals, it meant that they were of the “lower class”, consumed for sustenance only….which is kind of smart, because potatoes are loaded with potassium, vitamins B&C, iron, zinc, and copper.
They’d be like “But Damn..”
That’s right, you people from 6,800 years ago..
You totally missed the boat on that one..
But seriously? Let’s think about that for a minute… It only took us 6,800 years to figure out what the inmates, pigs, and the “lower class” people already knew….
Potatoes are freaking delicious.
I’m always trying to come up with something original for potatoes, and honestly, there isn’t anything original anymore…but that’s ok, because some of the classic potato recipes are timeless. They’ll never go out of style. The recipes might get revamped here and there…but the classics will always be there to fall back on.
Like potato salad. I mean, how many versions of potato salad are out there…and how many versions do you really rely on?
My guess is that you rely on the classics.
We all do.
While I love a good Americanized potato salad, I also love German potato salad, and not talking about the kind you can buy in the can! You can have a delicious German potato salad thrown together in the amount of time it takes you to find your can opener, open the can of fake stuff, and heat it up.
It’s a matter of frying a few slices of bacon, frying some potatoes and onions right in that same pan, and then mixing it with a lovely sweet vinegary dressing. Simple, delicious, and the perfect accompaniment with a hot dog on a summer’s day…
Life is good…it’s a “I would have gladly gone to prison, or schlepped with the pigs, just to eat potatoes 500 years ago…” kind of good…
German Potato Salad
Six Side Dish Servings
8 slices bacon, fried crisp, save the bacon grease
6 medium potatoes, sliced thick
1 lg onion, sliced thick
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp sugar (if you like it sweeter, add another tablespoon)
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
Fresh parsley for garnish
Fry the bacon until it’s crisp, remove from pan, saving the grease in the pan. Drain the bacon on paper towel lined plate. When cool, break into smaller pieces, and set aside. You’ll want to reserve a couple tablespoons of bacon for garnish later.
Add the thick cut potatoes to the frying pan with the hot bacon grease, and fry until tender and browned. Don’t over load the pan, do it in a couple of batches if necessary. Remove the potatoes from the pan to a plate, taking care not to break the potatoes up. Reserve the bacon grease to fry the onion.
Add the onion to the pan, and sauté for about 15 minutes, until softened and golden brown. The onions need to be removed from the pan, I usually throw them on the same dish with the potatoes.
You’ll notice that there is hardly any grease left in the pan, and that’s ok. To that pan, add the vinegar, water, sugar, ground mustard, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer.
Mix the butter and flour together to make a paste. Add to the vinegar mixture in the pan, and whisk until thickened, about three minutes.
Add the potatoes, onion, and bacon (remember to reserve a little bit of bacon for garnish) to the pan, and carefully stir until they are fully coated with the vinegar mixture.
Add to a serving dish, garnish with bacon and fresh parsley. Serve hot, or cold (your preference).