Monday, July 5, 2010

German Potato Salad

This is a sorry excuse for a vegan recipe- being as it required the suffering of three different species. Happily, my mother informs me that it's also a sorry excuse for German potato salad. According to her every potato chunk should be coated with an acrid gloss of roofing tar- or a roux made with bacon fat and cider vinegar and whole wheat flour. Regardless of cultural accuracy or following the sentiments of this blog, it's pretty good potato salad. It has no mayo, if that's a thing. Also, it's what I'm having for lunch this week, so stop whining.

I will be giving my Midwestern recipes extra leeway, because I can think of about three dishes that are perfectly vegan. They are all pickles.

Dice two onions, and caramelize them in 1 tbsp butter, lard, or for those of us without seven generations of German grandmothers hissing in our prefrontal cortexes some sort of vegetable oil. This will take a while- that's why one does it first. At some point you may find the onion pan to be dry- add more fat and make sure the heat is nice and low. Cut 10 Yukon Gold or other waxy potatoes (the red ones or the white ones or the purple ones)in half, and boil them until fork tender.

Chop 4 stems of celery, a good handful of parsley, and cucumber pickles. The total amount of chopped pickle should be half the amount of chopped celery. You should use dill pickles, but I'll still be your friend if you use bread and butter. Or non-cucumber pickles, actually. Hell, I still love C, and the man hates pickles. I've gotta find some with Yellow #5. Put the chopped vegetables into a large bowl. Oh, and dice one slice of bacon.

You'll probably finish chopping long before the onions turn properly brown and the potatoes become edible. Do some dishes or something.

When the potatoes finish, cut them into thick slices and put them in the bowl. Add the onions. Take the old onion pan, turn the heat up to medium high, and fry the bacon until crisp. Keep stirring, or it will burn and you will be sad. This is where you'd make a roux if you were bound by tradition, but we already silenced those demons with lard earlier. We are strong. Instead, add one tbsp of mustard, (not French's, fools) 1/3 cup of cider vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, 1/8 cup of olive oil, and 1/3 cup chicken broth. (The secret to great vegan cooking is homemade chicken broth.) Turn the burner off, stir until blended. Pour over the vegetables, mix everything together. Chill.

This should be a little on the acid side, because I was raised on acrid roofing tar potato salad, so you may want to hold back on the vinegar at first. Or to be more accurate, I added sauce ingredients until it tasted right instead of measuring, and too much vinegar is the only thing likely to make the final product inedible. If the balance is off, add things until it tastes good. This holds up very well in a backpack- though that might be in contrast to my memories of dubious mayonnaise based potato salads.

Please note: butter, bacon, and chicken broth. Tasty.

1 comment:

  1. I can hear Laurel and Old Lady Vansusteren dueling with wooden spoons in the back of your mind. As they say, a compromise means that nobody is happy. I'm sure both factions would consider disowning you for this perfectly lovely potato salad.