I always thought of this more as a cold-weather kind of dish. But someone suggested it to go along with kielbasi, and it sounded like a great idea. It’s actually easier to make than “regular” potato salad, and is also pretty good cold.
Set a large pot of salted water on to boil. While that’s coming to a boil, cut the potatoes into bit-sized pieces.
You can peel them first if you want. I don’t mind having the skin there in the finished dish, but you should make sure you cut out any eyes that have started to sprout. The sprouts taste kind of gritty. (Don’t ask how I know.)
Rinse them well in a colander before putting them in the boiling water, then boil until they’re fork tender. Mine took about 15 minutes. It will depend on how small you dice them and what kind of potatoes you got. Drain them in the colander.
Be careful pouring them into the colander. Steam is hot. (This could be your face.)
While the potatoes are cooking, you can get started on the bacon. When I started dicing the bacon, I realized I had grabbed the two-pound pack from the freezer instead of a one-pound pack. “Oops, too much bacon,” I thought to myself. Then I realized how silly that sounded, “Too much bacon.” Can you even use those words in that order?
For some tips on getting better bacon, and how to cook it, take a look at the post on macaroni dinner salad. Cook it and transfer the finished bacon to the same bowl you’re going to put the finished salad in. Pour off most of the fat (filter it and keep it for later) but leave a little in the pan.
Dice the onion and add it to the pan you cooked the bacon in. Sauté until translucent and starting to turn brown.
If you checked out that macaroni salad link above, you noticed I was using a non-stick pan, and this time I’m using stainless steel. Here’s why. When the onion is cooked, deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar. Add enough to coat the entire bottom of the pan, and scrape up all the brown bacony goodness. If you need measurements — and this is definitely not an exact science — it’s a little less than a half cup.
Remove the pan from heat and stir in two or three tablespoons of dark brown sugar.
Add the potatoes and half the bacon back to the pan and toss everything together. Be careful not to smash the potatoes too much.
Don’t worry about getting it perfectly mixed. It’s better to toss it quickly, so all the vinegar doesn’t get absorbed into just one layer of the potatoes.
Transfer the bacon to a smaller serving bowl. As soon as most of the vinegar is absorbed, turn everything out into the bowl. Top with more of the bacon. Serve with the rest of the bacon on the side for people who want even more bacon. (And who doesn’t like even more bacon?)
And that’s it.
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Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you can hold right in your hands, and write on, take notes, tear pages out if you want (Gosh, you're tough on books, aren't you?) you might be interested in How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, 2nd edition, Illustrated. Or to learn your way around the kitchen, check out Starting From Scratch: The Owner's Manual for Your Kitchen.