A modernized version with an intriguing twist
4 pounds red potatoes
1/3 pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 finely minced medium onions
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar plus a little additional to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives for garnish
1. Fill a large pot two-thirds full with water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes with skins on until just past crunchy, about 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Put the bacon and onions in a large heavy skillet, and cook over moderate heat until the onion softens but does not brown, about 6 minutes.
3. Add the vinegar and sugar to the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat.
4. Mix the cornstarch with a few teaspoons of the water and make a smooth paste. Add the cornstarch paste to the skillet and mix well, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining water and return to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until the mixture has a velvety texture.
5. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them, cut them into 1/4-inch slices, and place them in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the bacon and onion mixture along with the beaten egg, over the potatoes. Gently mix all ingredients well; do not break the potato slices. Mix in a little additional vinegar to taste. Sprinkle salad with chives and serve warm.
Out of fashion for some years, a mayonnaise-less potato salad cooked with bacon, dressed with vinegar, and served warm is being rediscovered today by a new generation of Americans. It was originally associated with German immigrants and was usually called German potato salad. This one has been modernized with an intriguing twist: the addition of a little cornstarch, which gives the salad a sophisticated, velvety texture. Serves 4