A Better Potato Salad
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
A veritable cornucopia of modern flavours twisted into a BBQ classiqué and, just for fun, throw in a homemade bacon mayonnaise so that, at said barbecue, you can casually slip that into conversation. I promise the awe at the mystical hand-whisked mayo will pop you straight onto their list of persons they deem as impressive. Not that you should ever care what too-many-organic-wines Emily thinks, but it's always nice to feel that inch of validation. Trust me, it'll be in their eyes. Unless she's vegan, in which case you'll probably fall off any low pedestal you were floating on.
I am genuinely overwhelmed by the response to this recipe on my social media; so much so that I felt it only right to get it up on here too. A brief segue from hot potato salad to talk about the insane world of social media. The birth of tiktok and the mystical algorithm that could seemingly, accidentally, push you into the spotlight at any given time is astounding. I woke up to 500k views on this little (but mighty) potato salad and the first thought that ran through my head was 'holy fuck, someone is actually going to make this; someone may buy all the ingredients, try it, and loathe it. Then they will post about how much they disliked it, forever cementing my food as inedible.' I need a deep breath hold on.
Okay I'm back. Of course, I then had to remember to back myself. I need to constantly try to harness the confidence of a white man in 2008. That is the secret sauce to gaining traction and attention (I think). I loved the dish, so why the hell would you not?? Luckily for me, negative comments have a short shelf life in my brain. Often washed away by a text from my sister showing me a video of her dance-aerobics.
What I'm clearly getting at is that bacon mayo and potatoes are a no-brainer and I won't doubt that again. I'm sorry there was a brief interlude there bacon, I was overwhelmed, it won't happen again. You know you can trust me; I was a girl guide.
1/2 A large red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of sugar
700g of Baby potatoes, halved
3 Spring onions
6 Rashers of streaky bacon, chopped
2 Egg yolks
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons of grain mustard (or dijon, or a mixture)
2 tablespoons of honey
1 Large lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 cup of chopped dill
2-3 tablespoons of capers
2 Red chillies, de-seeded and sliced
Extra olive oil, salt, and pepper for dressing/tossing
Place your onions, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Pour water over the onions until they are just covered. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 180C fan-bake. Wash the potatoes then add them to boiling water and par-boil them for 4-6 minutes (you want them to still be firm but a sharp knife should go through them without too much effort). Drain them then toss in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking tray and bake for 18-20 minutes. In the last 5 mins of cooking add the spring onions to the pan.
Cook the bacon until all the fat has rendered. If the bacon is starting to cook too fast, turn the heat down, and keep it going on a medium-low heat until the fat renders. Pour the bacon through a sieve and reserve the bacon fat (keep the cooked bacon for topping later).
Add 1/3 cup of oil to the bacon fat. Whisk the egg yolks and mustard together. Slowly pour the fat/oil into the egg yolks/mustard mixture, whisking vigorously until emulsified. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Drain the pickled onions, reserving the pickling liquid.
Toss the potatoes with the egg yolk mayo, lemon juice, zest, honey, half the dill, half the chillies, half the pickled onions. salt, pepper, and capers. Chop the spring onions and mix in. Add more of the toppings to taste/to the top. You can also add a bit of the onions pickling liquid if you find you want it more tart. Enjoy!
Adding in chopped chives is delicious, especially if you can't find dill and/or spring onions
If you want an aioli/garlic mayo, add some roasted garlic cloves, squashed up, into the mayo or straight into the potato salad.
If you want it to be extra-spicy, add in 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
If you want it to be sweeter, add in a bit more honey or a bit of maple syrup