Since it’s beginning to warm up outside – goodbye 50s, hello 80s! – I wanted to make something that would be a fun side dish to go alongside burgers, hot dogs, or even just a nice steak since it’s starting to be grilling season. I had originally planned a twice baked potato, but I sort of messed up, so it turned it into a potato salad with pork belly and green onions.
My parents came to Charlotte on Saturday from Illinois. I always love having them around – especially since I hadn’t seen them since November. While we were enjoying some appetizers at Wolfgang Puck’s Pizza Bar I told them of what I had planned to make and then revealed that I had already baked the potatoes for the twice baked potatoes. My mom looked at me like I was nuts.
She told me that they most likely wouldn’t whip up like I wanted them to be since they were pre-baked. Oops! I honestly had no idea, I just thought since I had made the pork belly that I would go ahead and bake the potatoes at the same time. Well, I was wrong. But, my mom gave me a great idea and that was to turn those into a potato salad.
Since I had pre-baked my potatoes, I put them on a baking sheet diced up and drizzled with olive oil and chives and just crisped them up a bit for about 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven. But, I also did the method below to test the potatoes how I would normally make potato salad and they worked out great – there was hardly a difference in the taste. So, you can do it either way. This potato salad is delicious – the secret is the pickle juice. I didn’t want actual pickles in the salad, but I wanted that flavor so I just added some to the sauce and it was perfect. Feel free to add some celery or even pickles to the salad – and, of course, adjust seasonings as needed. Bacon would be great in here and add some smokiness, but I did like the subtle flavor of the pork belly because it made the potatoes the real star of the salad.
Potato Salad with Pork Belly and Green Onions
6 small russet potatoes
1 tsp chives
1/4 lb pork belly, diced (1 Tbsp dijon mustard, 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar; seen prepared here)
OR, you can alternatively use bacon, about 7 strips, diced
2-3 green onions, choped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2-3 tsp pickle juice
1 Tbsp chives
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and dice up(about an inch cubes) the potatoes. I left the skin on, but feel free to peel them. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle the chives, and salt and pepper on top. Bake until fork tender, but still firm -about 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prep the pork belly. I already had some leftover from the burgers, but click here to see the recipe. I halved the dijon and brown sugar and braised them the same way and left it overnight to cool. Whether you’re using pork belly or bacon, dice into thin strips and fry over medium high heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, pickle juice, chives, and salt and pepper. In another bowl combine the green onions, potatoes, and pork belly, being careful not to “mash” the potatoes. Pour the sauce mixture over the potatoes and fold in. Set in the refrigerator for about an hour to meld all of the flavors together and serve.