German Potato Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing from Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mystery SHOT IN THE DARK

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This recipe was inspired by my husband's late grandmother, Ethel, who prepared this warm, tangy potato salad often for Marc and his family. It makes a wonderful side dish for fall and winter.

To download our recipe now for German Potato Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing as a free PDF, click here.

To read my full blog post, scroll down. Or click here or on the "Read more" link below, and...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo

Behold the United States Lightship Frying Pan,
resurrected from the deep and now docked
in New York's Hudson River.

Click to learn more.

A Note from Cleo

For those of you who've read our 17th Coffeehouse Mystery Shot in the Dark, you might remember this tasty salad from an early scene in the book when our amateur sleuth orders this dish from the Oktoberfest menu at Pier 66 Maritime, a real bar and grill here in New York City that you can find beside a historic lightship, raised from the deep and now floating in the Hudson River. The name of the ship, appropriately enough, is Frying Pan. See my photo above and a picture (below) from our table at the scenic bar and grill. 

I took the photos during our location research for Shot in the Dark, and felt the chill of those dark waters, the same river waters where Clare and Madame find a floating body in the book...

The view from our table. That's the Jersey shoreline
on the other side of the Hudson River.

Cleo Coyle writes two
bestselling mystery
 series with her husband.
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Like Marc and I, our coffeehouse manager Clare has good memories about this Oktoberfest potato salad because (like us) she grew up in Western Pennsylvania, where immigrants from Germany, as well as Poland, Eastern Europe, Italy, and other countries mixed the foods of their cultures into one delicious melting pot. They worked in the mills and mines, farmed the land, and shared their favorite dishes with friends and neighbors. And that's where today's recipe originated.

Marc's grandmother Ethel made this often for her loved ones. It brings back good memories for my husband (and me, as well). May you too...

Cook with love and eat with joy!

~ Cleo 

Our Coffeehouse Mystery
includes 25 tasty recipes! 


To download a free PDF of this
Potato Salad recipe that you can
print, save, or share, click here
or on the picture below...
Click for the Free Recipe PDF

German Potato Salad
with Hot Bacon Dressing

adapted by Cleo Coyle, with thanks
to Marc's Grandmother Ethel


5 - 6 medium-size red potatoes (do not peel)
4 strips bacon and bacon drippings
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup beef stock (or water)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
1/3 teaspoon* salt
1/3 teaspoon* black pepper
1/3 teaspoon* granulated, white sugar
1/3 teaspoon* dry mustard (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
1/3 teaspoon* celery salt (optional)

*Yes, 1/3 teaspoon is an odd measurement. Simply add a little less than 1/2 teaspoon from your measuring spoon set, and you're good to go!


Step 1 – Place four slices of thick bacon into a cold skillet and turn the heat to low. Cook SLOWLY to render the fat without scorching. This should take about 20-25 minutes. When bacon is finished cooking, do not discard the bacon drippings.

Step 2 – While the bacon is rendering, slice up unpeeled potatoes in larger chunks than you usually use for traditional potato salad. Cover with water and boil until tender. When the potatoes are just getting soft, drain well and set aside. (You will be “cooking” the spuds twice, so drain them while they are still slightly firm. You don’t want to end up with mashed potatoes.)

Step 3 – Cut the cooked bacon into slivers with kitchen shears and set aside the bacon pieces. Add the onion and celery to the skillet in which you cooked the bacon, and stir to coat with the bacon grease. Cook 2 minutes over low heat, then add the bacon slivers and stir again. Add the cooked and drained potatoes to the skillet and coat well with the bacon grease. Set pan off the heat while you complete the dressing. 

Step 4 - In a separate saucepan, stir together the stock (or water), vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and (optional) mustard powder. Heat to boiling, then pour the liquid over the skillet of potatoes, bacon, celery, and onions. Mix well to coat everything with the dressing. If you like, sprinkle chopped parsley to garnish. We also sprinkle on celery salt as a finish (it's delicious). Serve warm, with Oktoberfest joy!

Click for the Free Recipe PDF

Eat (and read) with joy!

New York Times bestselling author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries and
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

This is me -- Cleo (Alice) 
with my husband Marc.

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