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German Cottage Potatoes with Bacon


Potatoes with bacon on top of fish
Henning K. v. Vogelsang, Liechtenstein/Moment/Getty Images

Bratkartoffeln are a German food that people often want to recreate at home. There are two main tricks to making great pan-fried potatoes. Start them in a single layer in the pan with plenty of fat and do not put a cover on the pan. These potatoes with take 20 - 30 minutes to cook a crispy, golden brown but the wait is worth it.

Makes 2 large servings of Bratkartoffeln, but recipe can be easily doubled, using two pans.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 lb. or 500 grams of potatoes, about 5 medium
  • 2 - 3 oz of bacon (2-3 strips) chopped, 50 grams. Bauchspeck is best, but American bacon can be used
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp. marjoram (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seed (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


Scrub whole potatoes of the same size and cook in salted water until easily pierced with a fork. Let cool and peel while still warm. Potatoes can be cooked several hours ahead.

Chop bacon or "Bauchspeck" into small pieces and cook in a large frying pan (11 or 12 inches) until limp. Remove from pan but keep grease in pan. Add the butter and melt, but don't brown.

Slice the cold potatoes into 1/4 inch slices (5 mm) and place a single layer in the hot fat. Place any extra potatoes on top of the first layer.

Sprinkle the potatoes with the onions and bacon and let them cook over medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes. Flip them when they become golden brown on the underside, but don't stir them.

Sprinkle with marjoram, caraway, salt and pepper and cook for 5 - 10 more minutes. Add more butter if necessary, to facilitate browning.

At home, these potatoes are traditionally served with fried eggs, pickles and green salad.

Note: I use a non-stick pan, but the potatoes still need a lot of butter and grease to brown properly. This is an occasional treat for most people due to the high fat content, but they sure are good.

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