Austrian Potato Salad

Some of my friends organized a Vodka and Perogie party. I wanted my contribution to reflect the theme but also include a twist on my heritage. Hence I chose to make an Austrian Potato Salad.

This potato salad has a little trick up its sleeve. There is no mayonnaise and very little oil. The sauce is made with a bit of potato water and a small amount of mashed potatoes, plus all the other ingredients. Less calories and just as creamy. I like the tangy touch of the mustard and vinegar contrasting with the sweet red onions and sliced gherkins. This is as refreshing as a potato salad can get.

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Here is a tip I bet you did not know: apparently adding a bit of vinegar to the boiling liquid will keep the potatoes from falling apart into mush once cooked. For white potatoes it will also help to keep them white when mashing.

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I found this recipe on Jersey Bite blog but she claims its origins from the Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.


Austrian Potato Salad
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  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (do not use any other kind)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard (I used with seeds too)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped fine (about 3/4 cup)
  • 6 gherkins, minced (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • ground black pepper to taste


  1. Peel and quarter potatoes lengthwise, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  2. Bring potatoes, broth, water, 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and 1 Tbs. vinegar to boil in 12 inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until potatoes offer no resistance when pierced with paring knife, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to high (so cooking liquid will reduce), and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Drain potatoes in colander set over large bowl, reserving cooking liquid. set drained potatoes aside. Pour off and discard all but 1/2 cup cooking liquid (if 1/2 cup liquid does not remain, add water to make 1/2 cup.) Whisk remaining tablespoon vinegar, mustard, and oil into cooking liquid.
  4. Add 1/2 cup cooked potatoes to bowl with cooking liquid mixture and mash with potato masher or fork until thick sauce forms (mixture will be slightly chunky.) Add remaining potatoes, onion, gherkins, and chives, folding gently with rubber spatula to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cuisine: Austrian | Recipe Type: Vegetables & Side Dishes


5 Star Makeover: Tirolerknödel with Foie Gras Sausages

Ever since the new year I was on the hunt for an Austrian recipe, a part of my ancestral roots. I had settled on Knödel and when I found out the theme for January’s 5 Star Makeover was meatballs I knew it was more than a coincidence.

Knödel are large round potato or bread dumplings, typical of Austrian, German, Hungarian and Czech cuisine. Usually they are served as a side dish for meat, goulash or in soups. But they can also be served as a dessert, such as filled with plums. I have had this dish exactly only twice in my life. My dad is Austrian and does not cook so I never ate many Austrian dishes. My first time was at my cousin’s place (my dad’s nephew) for dinner and once was in a brauhaus in Austria.

So this could fall into the meatball category I chose a very typical Austrian knödel from the state of Tyrol where smoked bacon (Speck) or sausage are added to the dumpling dough. These are called Tirolerknödel, or Tyrolean Dumplings. A now gourmet dish found in Austrian menus, Tirolerknödel  was actually food for the poor prior to the ski industry and some say the recipe is about 3000 years old.

Knödelfest in St Johann, Tyrol - photo Martin Lugger

hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!

I decided to use small Fois Gras Sausage I discovered recently. They are make with pork, duck and foie gras. My meat ingredient definitely brought on the gourmet touch. My knödels were surprisingly flavorful and delicate, a real treat. They are so easy to make you should definitely try them out on your family for dinner, or even better after a day of skying.

Ξ Tirolerknödel with Foie Gras Sausages Ξ

8 oz stale bread or rolls, torn apart or cubed
3/4 cup milk, warmed
5 oz Foie Gras Sausage (or any sausage)
1 tbsp butter
1/2  large yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (I used coriander)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour, give or take


Place the bread in a bowl and pour the milk evenly over it. Stir and set aside.

Place the Foie Gras Sausages in a skillet and fry until browned. Remove from skillet and cut into small pieces.

Add the butter and onions to skillet and fry until translucent and amber colored. Stir in the parsley and set aside to cool.

Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and eggs to the bread mixture. Add the cooled onions and sausages.
Combine well with your  hands. Add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the mixture hold a bit better, it should feel like a very sticky dough. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Form 10 small dumplings with wet hands and drop into the boiling water. Reduce the heat so the water simmers gently and cook for about 15 minutes. Dumplings are done when they float. Serve with a hot broth and garnish with parsley.

The knödels are very delicate when you take them out of the boiling water but will hold better after they cool down a bit. The inside is very moist, a bit like a savory bread pudding. If you have leftovers slice them up and frying them in a skillet for breakfast.

A note on the foie gras sausage:  Wish I took a pic of the package but it is long gone in the trash. But I bought them at my local’s farmer’s market this summer and kept them frozen. This is not a common product at all. Only hint I found online is this french website advertising the sausages.  They are cocktail sized, white and the first ingredients should read pock, duck and foie gras.