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How to Make Boiled Potatoes the German Way - Dampfkartoffeln

Boiled Potatoes the German Way - Dampfkartoffeln

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steaming potatoes

Steaming potatoes in their jackets.

J. McGavin

It’s not in any cookbook or magazine. You are just supposed to know how to make boiled or steamed potatoes (Dampfkartoffeln) when you cook German food. I finally pieced together this guide from my mother-in-law, who just knew.

You will need:

  • small, waxy potatoes, as many as will be eaten (red-skinned, Yukon Gold or fingerling varieties are good for this),
  • salt,
  • water,
  • an old sauce pan or pot (this pan will eventually have calcium deposits which are hard to remove, so if you make these often, dedicate one pan to potatoes and soft boiled eggs).

Wash potatoes well. If you only have large potatoes, cut them in halves or quarters. Fill pot with water to almost cover potatoes. Add about a teaspoon of salt, if you wish. Cover pot and bring water to a boil. Cook 20 minutes or until a fork pierces the potatoes easily.

When they are done, drain water, then place the pot back on the hot burner without the cover, and steam dry for a couple of minutes, shaking the pot a few times so the water evaporates.

Peel the potatoes with a knive and fork, and place them in a serving dish. If your meal is informal, place potatoes in their jackets in a serving dish and let your diners peel them themselves.

You may also pour a little melted butter on them in the serving dish (in Butter schwenken) and sprinkle parsley on them. Then they’re called parsleyed potatoes (Petersilienkartoffeln).

Eat potatoes by mashing them with a fork on the plate and using a bit of butter or some of the entrée’s sauce to season.

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