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Do you like American potato salad? Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the mayo-laden side dish, but I love Austrian potato salad. What’s so different about Austrian potato salad, you ask? Well, for starters, there’s no mayo. Austrian potato salad is a vinegar dressing kissed side dish that pairs so, so well with Wienerschnitzel. I was really surprised the first time I was introduced to this potato salad. I had never had anything like it, but I craved it after I left Vienna. Luckily, now I can make my own, and you can too!
So, How Do I Make Austrian Potato Salad?
This recipe is inspired by the one over at Serious Eats. You start by peeling and cutting your Yukon Gold potatoes in half, and then slicing them into 1/4 inch slices.
Next, put your sliced potatoes into a pot of cold water. The water should cover the potatoes by about 2 inches. Starting potatoes in cold water helps them cook evenly as the water heats up. Once the water comes to a boil over medium-high heat (you could use high too), cook the potatoes for 5-8 minutes. These don’t take long because they are so thin. Don’t overcook the potatoes, or they will get mushy and fall apart when you stir them into the dressing. This is also why you want a waxy potato (like Yukon Gold). Russets or red potatoes would get mushy.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing. The star of the dressing is the white wine vinegar. The vinegar in Austrian potato salad cuts the richness of foods like Wienerschnitzel or fried fish so beautifully. Add the finely diced red onion and the white wine vinegar to a medium-sized serving bowl. Let them hang out together for a minute. This will reduce the sharpness of the red onion. After the vinegar and onion have gotten to know each other for a minute, add the rest of the dressing ingredients, and whisk them together. Don’t add the chives just yet. You’ll want to add those to the potato salad just before you serve, to preserve their green color.
When the potatoes are done, drain them and return them to the hot pot for just a minute to dry them out a little bit. You will then dump the hot potatoes directly into the dressing. The hot potatoes will soak up the delicious dressing, and release some starch, which will thicken the dressing for maximum yumminess.
Gently stir the Austrian potato salad until everything is combined. Next, cover the salad and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to serve, stir in your chives and re-season, if needed. I usually add a little more vinegar and salt right before I serve, as these flavors tend to mellow out during the overnight rest. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Serving Austrian Potato Salad
Austrian potato salad is used almost like a condiment. I like to squeeze a little lemon over my Wienerschnitzel, cut off a piece, and then get some potato salad on the same bite. It’s so classic, and you are going to love it!
Here’s a picture of my husband, Mark when we went to Vienna together in 2015. That was such a fun trip. I hope take my daughters when they’re older. In this picture, we were at a restaurant. I got the goulash and Mark got the Schnitzel. Note the bowl of Austrian potato salad to Mark’s left.
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Austrian Potato Salad
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1/2 large red onion, finely diced
- 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar plus more for re-seasoning
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or a neutral oil
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt plus more for salting the potato water
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons finely sliced fresh chives
- Peel the potatoes, cut them in half the long way, and slice them into 1/4 inch slices.
- Put them into a pot of cold water. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Add some salt to the pot. Not more than a Tablespoon.
- Cook the potatoes for 5-8 minutes once the water comes to a boil, or until fork tender. Don't overcook, or the potatoes will fall apart when mixed with the dressing.
- While the potatoes cook. add the diced red onion to the white wine vinegar in a medium sized serving bowl. Let these sit together for a minute. The vinegar will make the onion less sharp.
- Add the rest of the dressing ingredients, except for the chives (olive oil, vegetable stock, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, sugar). You will add the chives right before serving so they stay green.
- Whisk the dressing together.
- When the potatoes are fork-tender, drain them well, pour them back into the hot pot for just a minute to dry them a little, then dump them directly into the dressing. The hot potatoes will soak in the dressing, and at the same time release some start, thickening the potato salad.
- Gently stir the potato salad until well combined.
- Cover and let rest in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to serve, taste. You may want to add more vinegar, salt, sugar, etc.
- Stir the chives through the salad and serve!