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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Nick Burki has spent years trying to perfect his great-grandmother's recipe for German potato salad.
Nick Burki has spent years trying to perfect his great-grandmother's recipe for German potato salad. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Side-ling up to the holiday table: Nick Burki's German potato salad

Want to pull out all the stops this holiday? Some of Milwaukee's most talented chefs have shared their favorite holiday side dish recipes with us. So, throughout the month of December, we'll share their takes on holiday-worthy fare.

Chef Nick Burki of Coquette Café says that the side dish he loves more than anything is his Great-Grandmother Bauer's German potato salad.

"It is the first dish that I remember dreaming about at night. The smokiness from the bacon, The acid from the vinegar, the hint of sugar, the freshly cooked and still-warm potatoes – it was my idea of a perfect dish at a very young age. It was definitely the highlight of every holiday at my great-grandma's house when I was young.

"Once she passed away everyone in the family tried their best to re-create the recipe, but it wasn't the same. I have worked on the recipe for many years and I was able to get it pretty close to her recipe. When I had the pleasure of cooking at the James Beard House a few years ago I made this recipe for the staff meal the day we cooked there.

"I had the head of the James Beard foundation request the recipe from me because she loved it so much. We served it to them at their staff meal with a Strauss free-raised veal hot dog with braised red cabbage and stone -ground mustard. It was a hit at the Beard House. I think it can be a hit at your house as well."

Great-Grandma Bauer's Warm German Potato Salad

3 pounds baby red potatoes
12 slices of bacon, medium dice
1 large onion, small dice
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup ham stock
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan combine potatoes and enough salted water to cover, boil until tender. While potatoes are still hot, carefully remove the skin and slice into quarter-inch slices. In a large skillet, sauté bacon until crisp and browned. Drain bacon fat but leave about three tablespoons of the fat in the skillet.

Sauté onions in bacon fat until translucent, then add sugar, two tablespoons of vinegar and ham stock and simmer for about two minutes. Add this broth and remaining vinegar to drained potatoes and parsley. Toss gently and season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

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