Dad’s Special Potato Salad





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Six large Maine potatoes (or a dozen small red);
Four rashers of bacon;
1/4 large red onion;
1/2 cup cider vinegar;
1/2 cup sour cream;
1/4 cup deli-style mustard;
1/4 cup mayo;
Salt (to taste)
Parsley flakes (to taste);
Mustard seeds (to taste);


Method: Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, toss with oil and salt, and roast at 425F until fork-tender. Dice or french the onion, and dice the bacon. Combine the dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and add the potatoes while still warm (but not hot). Add the bacon and onions and refrigerate for at least an hour.




Details




There is a cold war over potato salad in this house. Mrs. 10Chickens, being a good Southern girl, insists upon the classic, creamy variety, with peeled and boiled potatoes, some hard-boiled egg slices on top, and no extra frills to get in the way.

I, on the other hand, lean more toward the German side of things, with a tangy vinegar dressing, and chunks of bacon and onion for extra flavor and texture.

This recipe is a result of those two things colliding head-on and becoming something different altogether, and it’s a favorite around here in the season of BBQ.

Step one: get your potatoes chunked and roasting. For this, I like to toss the potato chunks in a metal working bowl with some vegetable oil and salt before they hit my roasting vessel of choice, ol’ faithful:

These go into a 425F oven until they’re fork tender, but more importantly, golden brown and crispy on the outsides. This will probably take about half an hour, but give them a stir every so often to make sure they aren’t sticking or burning, and to try to get as much color as possible.

Of all the things this recipe does differently, roasting versus boiling the potatoes is the most important. I find that boiled potatoes get water-logged, and as a result, don’t want to soak up whatever dressing you pair them up with. Roasting, on the other hand, drives some moisture out of the potatoes (while adding some extra flavor and texture from the brown bits), and causes them to take in dressing like a dry sponge.

Next up, go ahead and cook your bacon however you want. Personally, I like doing it at the same time as my potatoes, on a sheet pan and wire rack in the oven:

Yes, I know the recipe only calls for four rashers, but… well, cooked bacon always seems to go missing when my back is turned. The extra here is collateral damage.

Once the bacon is cooked and drained, slice it up into little ribbons:

You can also go ahead and chop your red onion here, and I’ll leave it to you as to the shape of the cuts. Personally, I like it frenched, but diced would work just fine as well.

Go ahead and combine your dressing components (vinegar, mustard, mayo, sour cream, parsley flakes, and mustard seeds) and taste. Adjust for salt, then everybody goes in the pool while the potatoes are still warm, but not hot:

This is going to look like a TON of dressing, and that’s a good thing. Like I said before, these potatoes are going to soak it all up.

Once it’s all mixed, cover it and let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour. At the end of that time:

Ta-da! The onions and bacon have flavored the dressing, which has in turn soaked into the potatoes. The result is a tangy, creamy salad with some crunch from the onion and mustard seeds and smokey chew from the bacon.

Move it to a serving bowl, and be the hero of your next pot-luck (whenever that is):

Oh, and it goes really great with sweet-and-spicy glazed, smoked ribs:

But hey, that’s a different post.

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