Smack dab in the middle of the Land of Steady Habits (in Meriden, CT) is a stellar meat market by the name of Noack’s. Besides other smoked meats and German specialty sausages, Noack’s makes the very best wursts.

I picked up some weisswursts and thought I should honor their heritage by making warm German potato salad to go with. Then it hit me: I don’t think you LIKE German potato salad. So, how about those not quite mashed potatoes you make, but with BACON?! That’s it! Achtung, baby, let’s make crash potatoes with the delicious addition of PIG!

KATTY’S CRASH POTATOES WITH BACON

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut in chunks
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
2 cloves garlic, pressed
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
5 slices bacon (if you are local, please visit Middletown’s Meadow Meat–their slab bacon is OUTSTANDING!)
½ large sweet onion, finely chopped
handful fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
¼ tsp. salt

To a large stockpot, add potatoes, chicken stock, milk, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to boil over medium high heat, then reduce to medium or just below. Cook potatoes for 10 minutes or till you can fork through them. Reserve the cooking liquid from the badadas (yes, potatoes, I know–it runs in the family). You’re going to add some of that liquid back when we put everything together. Remove bay leaf and thyme stems.

While your potatoes are boiling, cook and drain the bacon, but SAVE THOSE DRIPPINGS in the pan! Remove only maybe a teaspoon or so. Chop the bacon, set aside. Chop the parsley and set it aside, too.

Cook the onion in the bacon drippings over medium heat. Once the onion is nice and golden and soft, it should be about time to add them to the potatoes.

It’s showtime! To the cooked potatoes, add the onion, bacon, 1/4 cup reserved stock/milk from cooking the potatoes, sour cream, salt, parsley and coarse ground mustard. Stir. No need to mash. They naturally “crash” into deliciousness without manual intervention. And are a fine accompaniment to the best wursts I know!

I told my Uncle Ralph I was making badadas this weekend. “Badadas! Uncle John used to call them that. But I’m pretty sure they’re potatoes.” Be that as it may, badadas is fun to say.

So, with a proud nod to my own somewhat humorous heritage, here is Uncle John with Poppy way, way back in the day. Yup, that very handsome devil on the right is my grandfather: the original Alfred Anthony. Happy birthday a little early, Poppy! As always, I wish you were here. Love, Hopey

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