Not just another potato salad…..The secret step is pouring French Dressing over the cooked potatoes while they are still warm so the potatoes absorb the vinaigrette flavour.
This is Mrs Brodie’s Bacon Potato Salad recipe. You know who Mrs Brodie is, don’t you? Everybody knows Mrs Brodie. She’s just like you. Like your mum. Like your grandmother. A cook who’s had the best training you can get – cooking for her family.
OK, I didn’t mean to wind you up, she’s not a celebrity chef and you don’t know her! Actually, she’s the mother of a good friend of mine, Sonia (aka Sonners). Sonners and I have many things in common. We both have a weakness for champagne, shoes, and food – not necessarily in that order. Our catch ups typically start with something like this – “How was your weekend?”, followed closely by “Make anything interesting?”.
It was one such conversation we had post Christmas that her mum’s potato salad came up, a potato salad that is on the Brodie family Christmas menu every year. Once I heard how it was made, I knew that this potato salad was one that would stand out from the crowd of thousands – millions – of potato salad recipes “out there” in the world wide web.
The thing that makes this potato salad so special is pouring French Salad Dressing over the hot boiled potatoes. By doing this while the potatoes are hot, they absorb the French Salad Dressing rather than just coating them. Combined with the creamy mayonnaise dressing, salty bacon, and fresh bursts of celery, cucumber and onion, every mouthful is The Perfect Bite.
The other thing I really like about this potato salad is the dressing. It isn’t just mayonnaise, it is lightened up a bit with sour cream plus it has a mild kick from Horseradish Cream. Mrs Brodie’s recipe calls for Horseradish Relish which is stronger. However, this is quite hard to find here in Australia so I substituted with Horseradish Cream. But rest assured that I sought (and received) consent from Sonners to substitute with Horseradish Cream!
When I first read the recipe I thought the raw onion in it would be too sharp but you can’t taste onion at all once it has melded in with the Potato Salad Dressing. It balances out the creaminess of the dressing and you can hardly tell there is onion in it.
This potato salad will last 4 to 5 days in the fridge, and it just gets better. I highly recommend making it the day before if you can, or at the very least a few hours before serving to give the flavours a chance to develop.
I hope this does Mrs Brodie’s recipe justice. I’m sure she’d love to hear any feedback – I’ll definitely pass them on!
- 4 bacon rashes , finely diced
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 kg / 2 lb potatoes , peeled and cut into 2cm / 3/4" cubes (see notes for potato type)
- 1/2 cup French Dressing - homemade (see below) or store bought
- 1/2 cup cucumber , finely diced (deseed the cucumber i.e. remove the watering centre)
- 1 small brown onion , finely diced (about 2/3 cup)
- 2 medium celery sticks , finely sliced on the diagonal (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp horseradish cream (or horseradish relish)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup olive oil (4 tbsp)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 garlic clove , crushed
- Black pepper
Combine the French Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until well combined.
Combine the Potato Salad Dressing ingredients and mix well.
Heat 1 tsp oil in non stick pan over high heat. Sauté bacon until crisp, remove from pan and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Put the potatoes in, bring back up to boil then cook the potatoes for 5 minutes.
Drain the potatoes then place in a large bowl. Immediately pour the French Dressing over the potatoes and very gently toss to coat all the potatoes.
Once the potatoes have cooled, add the remaining Potato Salad ingredients and pour over the Potato Salad Dressing.
Toss gently to combine. Set aside for at least a few hours, preferably overnight, before serving to give the flavours a chance to develop. Store covered in the fridge.
1. The best potatoes to use for potato salad are waxy potatoes as they hold their shape and do not break down and become fluffy when cooked. Good all rounders work well too. In Australia, the best potatoes to use are (in order of preference): desiree, red pontiac, sebago (the ones covered in dirt). In the US: red potatoes, yokon gold, round white potatoes, long white potatoes, russet (the ones covered in dirt. A very common all rounder in the US but it has a higher starch content than other all rounders).
2. The French Salad Dressing for this recipe is slightly different to the usual salad dressing because I add a bit of water to thin it and there is a slightly higher vinegar to oil ratio. This is because the standard homemade French Salad Dressing is thicker than store bought. It needs to be thinner so it is easily absorbed by the potatoes.