Before I share the Best Potato Salad Recipe You Should Make for Labor Day, I have to announce the winner of the Kitchen Hack, How Clever Cooks Get Things Done give away. It’s Georgia M. Congratulations! I know this book will help you in the kitchen. I’ll be contacting you today.
Best Southern Potato Salad Recipe You Should Make
It’s hard to believe, but Labor Day is just over 1 week away. I know for many folks, summer ends when the kids go back to school, but I always think of Labor Day as the weekend that brings summer to a close. It used to be the day after which you could not wear white shoes or white jeans, regardless of the temperature outside. Labor Day is the last of our summer celebrations, and like Memorial Day and 4th of July, requires a cookout with all the fixins’.
Potato salad is one of those dishes that has a thousand versions. Everyone’s mother, aunt or favorite barbecue joint has a version of this iconic potato dish. At our house, it’s Sweet Shark’s potato salad that rocks. I don’t mess with him on this dish. He does it so well that I just stay out of the way, play sous chef (I chop and dice!) and enjoy the fruits of his labor. If you are already thinking of what to prepare on Labor Day, add Sweet Shark’s version of his best Southern potato salad to your menu. It’s a winner, I promise.
Today, I’m sharing the recipe, just in time for you to add it to your Labor Day cookout menu. I had to pin him down for ingredients and amounts. It’s one of those home~made dishes that cooks just make from practice and repetition, never actually measuring out the ingredients or writing down the recipe.
No more. We now have this delicious version for eternity, forever, in perpetuity.
Thank you, Sweet Shark!
Of course, gather all your ingredients. Yes, I know there are alot of them, but you probably have all the ingredients on hand. And it’s the unique flavor and/or texture of each ingredient that gives this dressing such great balance: a sweetness from the sugar and Miracle Whip, a little acidity from the red wine vinegar, spice from the Durkee Sauce, crunch from the pickles and green onion, and a creamy texture from the mayo, French’s mustard and eggs. In case you aren’t familiar with Durkee’s, it’s a blend of mustard, mayo and spices that’s been around for decades. The Huffington Post even wrote an article about it. Sweet Shark loves it and I’ve grown to love it, too. It’s also great on roast beef sandwiches.
Cook your potatoes. Use a large saucepan and cover by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil and lower the temperature to a steady simmer. (See TIP #2 below.) At the same time, hard~cook the eggs. (See How to Make the Perfect Hard~Cooked Eggs.)
TIP #1: the best potatoes for potato salad are low~starch potatoes, such as round red potatoes. This is the go~to potato when you want a potato that will holds its shape and has more texture. They also have more flavor than a russet. Their higher density keeps them from absorbing too much dressing.
TIP #2: don’t boil the potatoes. The action of boiling is literally too violent for most foods, including potatoes. Cook at a steady simmer; the surface of the water should bubble evenly.
TIP #3: for the prettiest potatoes, cool them on a wire rack in a single layer, rather than piled on top of one another in a colander. The ones on the bottom can get crushed and break. Also, the potatoes on the bottom can steam and overcook.
After you have cooked the potatoes, let them cool enough to handle (see TIP #3 above) and cut into large chunks. Let the eggs cool enough to peel. Place them in the fridge while you are making the dressing. When they are cool, chop into 1/2~inch pieces.
Make the dressing. Combine the mustard, mayonnaise, Durkee Sauce, vinegar, and spices. Add salt and pepper to taste along with several dashes of Tabasco. Let your taste be your guide. Add the chopped sweet pickles, sliced green onion, chopped eggs, and pimento to the potatoes and gently combine. Fold in half the dressing to the chopped hard~cooked eggs and the chunks of potatoes. As you can see, this potato salad is chunky, rather than “mashed”.
Add the remaining dressing and garnish the potato salad with chopped parsley and sprinkle with paprika. Then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator so that the flavors meld until you are ready to serve. It’s even prettier with the parsley ~ a little green is always a boost to the attractiveness of a dish. You can even add some chives.
TIP #4: you can make the potato salad up to 1 day ahead.
TIP #5: we like to take the potato salad out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. It tastes better if it is closer to room temperature.
TIP #6: cold temperatures can inhibit flavor, so unless your dish really needs to be served chilled, a little sit~time before serving will increase the flavor of the dish.
TIP #7: if you like, substitute cilantro for the parsley. Cilantro will give the potato salad a more lemony taste.
- 2 pounds low~starch potato, such as red potato, washed
- 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ⅓ cup Miracle Whip
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Durkee Sauce
- 2 tablespoons French's mustard
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- 5 ~ 6 drops Tabasco
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 green onions sliced, white and light green parts only
- ¼ cup chopped sweet pickles
- 3 tablespoons canned pimentos or diced red bell pepper
- 2 hard~cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
- paprika, for garnish
- chopped parsley, for garnish
- Place the whole potatoes in a large pot; add water to cover by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil and then immediately lower heat to a steady simmer. Cook potatoes until are still firm, but a until wooden skewer can pierce trough the skin and flesh.
- Remove potatoes from water and place in a single layer on a wire rack to cool.
- When potatoes are cool to the touch, cut into quarters.
- In a medium bowl, combine the Miracle Whip, mayonnaise, Durkee, French's mustard, red wine vinegar, celery salt, and sugar. Add a pinch or two of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Add the Tabasco to your taste.
- Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the chopped sweet pickles, sliced green onion, chopped eggs, and pimento to the potatoes and gently combine.
- Add half the dressing to the potato mixture and gently fold in to combine.
- Taste for seasoning and additional salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Add the remaining dressing.
- Place potato salad in serving bowl. Garnish with chopped parsley and sprinkle with paprika.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
I understand if you love Aunt Martha’s or granny’s potato salads. If you don’t have a favorite or you are ready to experiment with a new version, definitely try Sweet Shark’s.