This recipe is like a thousand other vinaigrette potato recipes with just a few additions that I have not found all together in the same recipe, although, one may exist. I have found it a good practice to season potatoes for potato salad twice; the first time is in the boil with bay leaves, clove and garlic which gives the potatoes a hint of all three; and the second time is just after they have finished cooking. The potatoes are cut and tossed in a light vinaigrette which is absorbed while they cool. At this point you could continue on with this recipe or chill them for a more traditional potato salad where they would be further dressed with a little mayonnaise and a little sour cream. My family goes nuts over both ways.
Bacon is good on just about everything and makes everything it’s on better. There is a large variety of really well prepared thick cut bacon at most supermarkets and I usually go for uncured (meaning nitrate free ) bacon with natural smoke. Use your favorite bacon, but don’t cheap out on it. Buy something that tastes good with a fair amount of meat. The mustard and the cider vinegar compliment each other nicely. You could substitute green onions or sweet onions for the chives, but I think my home grown organic chives are the perfect accompaniment to any potato dish. So when my chives are available I use them. This potato salad is best soon after it is prepared or you can allow it to come to room temperature but I never refrigerate this one because the bacon fat will congeal and make the dish unappetizing. I usually prepare it just before I grill whatever it is I am going to sacrifice that evening and this potato dish will hold up to the bold flavors coming off the grill without upstaging the center of the plate. I did serve this with the marinated flank steak mentioned in the Tuesday Tip post and the tart, smokey bacon flavor on the firm potatoes were indeed the perfect counterpoint to the sweet and savory flavors of the meat.
I should mention that there are never any left overs and if there are they can be gently warmed in the microwave to re-awaken the flavors.
- 10 red skin potatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic cut in half
- 2 cloves
- water to cover
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh chives
- 5 slices cooked bacon, reserve fat
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 4 Tbsp oil (either bacon fat or a good oil (canola, grape seed) or a combination of bacon fat and oil)
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Place the whole unpeeled potatoes, bay leaves, garlic, and cloves into a pot and cover with cold water. Place over medium high heat. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to maintain a simmer and cook the potatoes until a knife inserts and removes easily from the flesh. Total cooking time from cold water to done is about 30 minutes. Err on the side of caution. Nothing worse than over cooked red skins. Make sure they are slightly firm but not crunchy.
While your potatoes are cooking, heat a skillet over medium low heat. Cut bacon slices into 1 inch pieces and add to the hot skillet. Stirring occasionally, cook until the bacon is crisp and brown and most of the fat has been rendered.
When the potatoes are done, drain them and let them sit until ready to dress. When the bacon is done, remove the pieces from the rendered fat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat for the dressing.
Combine the dressing ingredients and blend with an immersion blender or with a hand whisk until the dressing is emulsified (comes together). Cut the potatoes into eighths,toss with the dressing and top with the bacon and chives or stir to combine; whichever you prefer.