The nice thing about being part of a European family is the tradition. I was going through my photo archive and found a photo of New Years Eve two years ago which we spent with my German in-laws. Part of the family tradition is that we have wonderful Smoked Trout homemade by the equally nice Herr down the road and Potato Salad.
Ahh. There is nothing better than German Potato Salad. There is NO potato salad on this planet, no I retract, in this Universe, that can compare with German potato salad. There are even German jokes involving life and death that revolve around potato salad. But before I tell you one, I must interrupt myself and tell you that it is not possible to translate jokes (especially silly jokes) and so this enters into the non-translatable saying and jokes section that I translate.
Officer: “Why did you kill him?”
Accused: “He said my mother doesn’t make a good potato salad.”
Fortunately, no-one has to be killed for my mother-in-laws amazing Potato Salad recipe and you will find it at the end of this article as always. On the table you will also see a plant with a miniature chimney sweep in it. Okay, so I can’t explain all European traditions, but it is supposed to bring Good Luck so we might as well give the little chap his moment of excellence.
People who needed lots of Good Luck were our first visitors to France. Tom and Christine, two friends from the USA, arrived very soon after we bought our (very old and in dire need of renovation) farmhouse. They had to sleep in the passage on a futon we bought the day before they arrived. The toilet worked every other day, so I couldn’t honestly say it was their best holiday ever…
And to make matter worse, Joerg implemented “D-Days” (Do Days) or as the wonderful Tom and Christine called them “German Days”. Need I say more? German days were work days and every free day / holiday day was preceded by a work day. Just to be slightly more clear, we had just bought the place and there was precious little money available for luxuries like lawn mowers, decent spades and plumbers. So with brut force and a deep desire to be allowed off the property (and find a public loo), they dug ½ an acre of clay soil by hand before you could even say, “don’t you just hate damn German days”!
Had I had this Potato Salad recipe, they might have had more fun! Hope you enjoy as much as we do. And hey, don’t work to hard. Ja wohl!
GERMAN POTATO SALAD
(Serves 8 plus)
The potatoes are boiled with their skins on to retain nutrients and to keep them firmer, but you can also peel and cook them as you prefer. You want chunks of potato not mashed potato salad, so keep an eye on them!
Salt is always an issue – my mother-in-law uses a lot more than I do, but potatoes do need it, so do as you prefer. Remember, there is also salt in bought stock so first taste before adding more salt.
Maggi seasoning sauce is like liquid broth and is similar to say sauce.
My m-in-law uses more oil then I do and I have made this salad without any oil at all and was happy with the result. Use a little at the end to give it that shine if you like.
2,5 kg potatoes
750ml stock, vegetable or chicken
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp mustard
Salt and pepper
Maggi seasoning sauce
4 tbsp vinegar, plus more to taste
1 tbsp sugar
¼ cup oil, optional
1. Boil the potatoes with their skins on till they are just done. Peel them and then chop them roughly.
2. In the meantime, bring the stock to the boil, add the onions and mustard and simmer for a couple of minutes, then switch off and allow to cool slightly.
3. Add the sugar, salt and pepper to the chopped potatoes – be generous with the salt (1 tsp at least) as they were boiled with their skin on and no salt – and then pour over the stock onion mix.
4. Now it’s time to season with Maggi and vinegar, and even extra mustard if you like. Add the oil at then end, if you are using it. Sprinkle chives to decorate if desired. Deelicious hot or cold.