Tuesday, October 8, 2019

German Potato Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing from Cleo Coyle #Oktoberfest

This recipe was inspired by my husband's late grandmother, Ethel, who prepared this warm, tangy potato salad often for Marc and his family. It makes a wonderful side dish for fall and winter and, of course, Oktoberfest!

Behold the United States Lightship Frying Pan,
resurrected from the deep and now docked
in New York's Hudson River.

A Note from Cleo
Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband. 
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For those of you reading our 17th Coffeehouse Mystery Shot in the Dark, you might remember this tasty salad from an early scene in the book when our amateur sleuth orders this dish from the Oktoberfest menu at Pier 66 Maritime, a real bar and grill here in New York City that you can find beside a historic lightship, raised from the deep and now floating in the Hudson River. The name of the ship, appropriately enough, is Frying Pan. See my photo above and a picture (below) from our table at the scenic bar and grill...
The view from our table. That's the Jersey shoreline
on the other side of the Hudson River.

Like Marc and I, our coffeehouse manager Clare has good memories about this Oktoberfest potato salad because (like us) she grew up in Western Pennsylvania, where immigrants from Germany, as well as Poland, Eastern Europe, Italy, and other countries mixed the foods of their cultures into one delicious melting pot. They worked in the mills and mines, farmed the land, and shared their favorite dishes with friends and neighbors. And that's where today's recipe originated.

Marc's grandmother Ethel made this often for her loved ones. It brings back good memories for my husband (and me, as well). May you too...

Cook with love and eat with joy!

~ Cleo 


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Click for the Free Recipe PDF

German Potato Salad
with Hot Bacon Dressing

adapted by Cleo Coyle, with thanks
to Marc's Grandmother Ethel


5 - 6 medium-size red potatoes (do not peel)
4 strips bacon and bacon drippings
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup beef stock (or water)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
1/3 teaspoon* salt
1/3 teaspoon* black pepper
1/3 teaspoon* granulated, white sugar
1/3 teaspoon* dry mustard (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
1/3 teaspoon* celery salt (optional)

*Yes, 1/3 teaspoon is an odd measurement. Simply add a little less than 1/2 teaspoon from your measuring spoon set, and you're good to go!


Step 1 – Place four slices of thick bacon into a cold skillet and turn the heat to low. Cook SLOWLY to render the fat without scorching. This should take about 20-25 minutes. When bacon is finished cooking, do not discard the bacon drippings.

Step 2 – While the bacon is rendering, slice up unpeeled potatoes in larger chunks than you usually use for traditional potato salad. Cover with water and boil until tender. When the potatoes are just getting soft, drain well and set aside. (You will be “cooking” the spuds twice, so drain them while they are still slightly firm. You don’t want to end up with mashed potatoes.)

Step 3 – Cut the cooked bacon into slivers with kitchen shears and set aside the bacon pieces. Add the onion and celery to the skillet in which you cooked the bacon, and stir to coat with the bacon grease. Cook 2 minutes over low heat, then add the bacon slivers and stir again. Add the cooked and drained potatoes to the skillet and coat well with the bacon grease. Set pan off the heat while you complete the dressing. 

Step 4 - In a separate saucepan, stir together the stock (or water), vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and (optional) mustard powder. Heat to boiling, then pour the liquid over the skillet of potatoes, bacon, celery, and onions. Mix well to coat everything with the dressing. If you like, sprinkle chopped parsley to garnish. We also sprinkle on celery salt as a finish (it's delicious). Serve warm, and...eat with Oktoberfest joy!

Eat with (Oktoberfest) joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author
The Coffeehouse Mysteries &
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

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  1. My husband likes German potato salad. this looks like a recipe he would love! Thanks!

    1. You're very welcome, Elaine. May you and your husband eat with Oktoberfest joy!

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