Potato Salad has to be one of the best make ahead recipes there are! There are so many variation on potato salad as well. This recipe was from my German mother-in-law and it has been a family favourite for generations.
Besides the ingredients, one of the things I learned from my mother-in-law was to cut the potato pieces into fairly small uniform pieces. This took a lot of practice for me… for a medium size potato make about 4 vertical slices one way and then turn the potato 90 degrees and make 3-4 more vertical slices. I have to use a cutting board to get my cross-wise slices fine enough. I make cross slices no more than 1/2 apart. Maybe the smaller dice is so good because there is more overall surface to carry the delicious dressing?
The other thing I learned from her was to cook the potatoes whole in their skins and peel them after they cool down a bit. As long as you are sure not to over cook them they will not turn mushy as you stir in all the ingredients.
I adjusted the family recipe to add the bacon though. Many recipes call for bacon but not the ‘family’ one. I apologized to the grandchildren last time I made this and I got a resounding vote of approval on the modification! Perhaps not surprising in this day and age of bacon-everything!
You can make this a day ahead or the morning of… take it out of fridge about 30 minutes before serving. The flavours are better when it is not ‘fridge’ cold.
- 5 medium potatoes (Yukon gold or white)
- 3 hard boiled eggs
- 4 strips bacon reserve 1 Tbsp of bacon fat
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 1 Tbsp green relish
- 2 Tbsps sweet pickle juice (like Bread and Butter or Sweet Mixed)
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Scrub potatoes so skins are clean. Place potatoes with skins on, in a sauce pan big enough to hold potatoes in 1 layer if possible. Cover potatoes with about 1 inch of water and a pinch of salt. Bring water to a full boil, turn heat down to medium and continue to cook until just tender in the center. (Do not over cook or the potatoes may be mushy.) Depending on the size of your potatoes this may take 30-40 minutes. If you have to put potatoes in more than 1 layer submerge the larger ones and put the smaller ones on top partially covered. This way they will cook closer to the same time.
- While potatoes are cooking hard boil your eggs by placing them in a saucepan covered by 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat. Cover the pan and let them sit off the heat for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes drain and cover with cold water immediately. After several minutes continue to cool them in the fridge so they will peel more easily.
- Fry bacon until crisp being careful not to burn. Reserve 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat from the pan. Drain bacon on a paper towel and crumble when cool.
- When potatoes are cooked, drain them and let them cool. When they cool enough to handle remove skins with a paring knife and dice into a fine dice. Aim for about 1/2" cubes.
- Pour warm bacon fat over warm potato cubes and stir in bacon crumbles.
- Peel eggs and slice up finely. Mix the egg into the potato salad cubes.
- Mix all dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl and stir into the potato salad.
- Refrigerate until ready to use. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving.