German Potato Salad

“And it is not even very hard to do yourself and your best microbes a favour with prebiotics. Most people already have a favourite prebiotic dish that they would not mind eating more often. My Granny always has some potato salad in her fridge…”

-Giulia Enders, Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ



I’m in Hamburg this week, and even just in bars and cafés they serve this very tasty salad. It is, obviously, served cold.

GOOD CHEAT: it’s possible to make this salad without bacon and red onion (and all the frying involved) and the chives, by simply substituting all three for five or six chopped spring onions (including an inch/couple of cms or so of the green).

FOR EXTRA-SPECIAL: the French-Canadian cook, Madame Benoit, slices the boiled potatoes while still hot and then pours a tin of hot consommé (use a tin) over them, then covers and leaves them for twenty minutes. Then she drains and mixes with mayonnaise.

ANY LEFT OVER: add in some roughly chopped black olives and serve as a tapas with drinks.



Recipe for German potato salad

Serves 4 (with other things)


  • About 15 small waxy salad potatoes (550g/1lb 4 oz) (Pink Fir Apple are nice)
  • 1 red onion – chopped finely
  • 70g/3 oz lardons – or more authentically, about 8 rashers of bacon – chopped
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (technically correctly called ‘condiment’ rather than vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil plus more for frying
  • generous grinds of salt, pepper and, slightly less generously, of nutmeg
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard – or alternatively horseradish
  • chives – ideally fresh – dry if desperate – or parsley (not curly)
  • capers also go well


  1. Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes in water in which you have dissolved the stock cubes. Then check them to see if they need more cooking. They should be cooked through, but still firm – you don’t want them to disintegrate.
  2. Fry the bacon and the onion until the onion is transparent and the bacon cooked through.
  3. Add a tablespoon of white balsamic to deglaze and then take the frying pan off the heat
  4. Mix up the dressing by mixing together the rest of the vinegar, the olive oil, salt and pepper, and the mustard. Add the deglazed mixture to the dressing.
  5. Drain the potatoes and make a broad attempt to get rid of any lose skin – some of it will rub off relatively easily.
  6. Slice the potatoes and mix in everything else. Add capers if using. Snip over a few chives. Serve cold.


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