Global Gourmet

German Potato Salad (Kartoffelsalat)



One of the Rhineland's best contributions to the culinary world is the old fashioned German potato salad. This is a my favorite version of it, in which horseradish and caraway seeds are added for extra tang. The salad should be served warm.

I once served this salad at the "Wurst" party I've ever had. Sorry for the pun, but that was the theme: we grilled a variety of sausages, some traditional and some nouvelle, then served them with a dozen different types of mustard and a breadbasket full of fresh rolls. Of course, we served this potato salad on the side. The whole thing was a huge success and the guests—Bavarians and non-Bavarians alike—couldn't get enough of the kartoffelsalat.


  • 1/4 pound lean bacon
  • 2 pounds red potatoes
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 onion*, chopped
  • 1 cup beef stock or broth
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • celery leaves, chopped
  • salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

*Note: While any type of onion may be used here, Vidalia or Texas 1015's are sweet and ideal. Red onion also works well and reinforces the reddish color of the potato skins.


Fry the bacon strips until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble the bacon into small pieces.

While the bacon is frying, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and simmer until just tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the water.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still quite warm, cut them into 1/4-inch slices. Pour the vinegar and caraway seeds over them and toss well.

Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pan. Fry the onions in the pan until translucent. Add the stock or broth and heat until warm but not yet boiling. Gently mix 1/4 cup of the stock and onion mixture into the potatoes. Add the remaining stock mixture to the potatoes in small amounts, mixing after each addition.

Stir the horseradish into the potatoes, then mix in the bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, spike the salad with an additional shot of vinegar just before serving, to refresh the flavors. Serve warm, topped with the chopped celery leaves.

Note: If you cannot serve the potato salad immediately, or if you have leftovers, bring the reserved cup of water used in cooking the potatoes to a boil. Stir a small amount of it into the potatoes, tasting as you go along and adding enough to warm the salad but not so much as to dilute the taste.


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©1994, Katherine Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

Global Gourmet Recipes

This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007

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