You can use new or old potatoes.If new, rub down with water, and remove any black or bruised bits, slice in half. If old, peel and cut into quarters. Place into cold water and bring to the boil. Each type and variety of potato has a different cooking time. You can use my method to test. (Ask Sally-Anne). After about 10 minutes, Take a knife and stab a potato, and pull it out. If the potato comes out of the water, then it's not done. If it falls off the knife, it's done. If you break the potato, then they are over-done, but don’t panic they are OK, just a bit mushy when making Otto. When they are cooked, drain and allow to cool. Keep the hot water.
Put the water back on to boil, and gently lay your eggs in the hot water. Please use room temperature eggs. How long do you boil an egg to get a good sliceable egg, (not the runny type, the ones you dip your toasted solders in, sort of thing you have for breakfast).
I boil mine for 15 minutes (take out with a big spoon and straight into cold water).
While the eggs are cooking, heat a skillet or small frying pan. Add in the bacon, or you can use pancetta, if you feel your budget can cope with it. A small win on the Euro lotto gives me pancetta in my Otto. Relax the use of salt during the recipe if using pancetta.
Fry until really crispy, then let them cool down in kitchen towel. Important.
Multitasking is the key, because, as this is all going on, take on other tasks, fast but precise and use the “knuckle method chopping”. Google it.
Celery, cut off top and bottom of each piece, wash and cut each piece longways 4-5 times. Hold together and slice into very small pieces, you need the crunch not the celery.
Then put in bowl, dollop of mayonnaise, and stir until all is coated. Add a pinch of salt, and a few turns of your black pepper mill.
Chives, just bunch up and chop according to your mood. No worries, place in the bowl and stir. That’s the colour.
Onions, peel, slice and chop very fine. Add to bowl, with a dollop of mayonnaise, and stir in to coat. If looking a bit dry, adding another dollop of mayonnaise is OK.
Slice the salami into long steps, put in bowl and stir.
Time to check the bacon (pancetta), if cool, keep in the kitchen roll, and bash with a wooded spoon. Add to the bowl with a dollop of mayonnaise. By doing, this you have just more added salt.
Now, can you see how you’re building up the flavour and texture.
Now to add some pickle flavour, take the gherkins, and slice off any stems. Then slice long ways, and slice into pieces, not too small, you need the crunch, and the tang.
Meanwhile, as the eggs are cooling, place your Frankfurters into the hot water, and simmer for 2 minutes longer than on the instructions on the packet.
Add a pinch of pollen to the bowl and mix. You should have a jar in the cupboard, if not, why not? It gives you wings, a pinch every day in your yoghurt, or even in your coffee (not red hot coffee). Google it. Trust me.
By now your potatoes should be cool. Add to the bowl and fold in, you don’t want to break them up, yet. Big dollop of mayonnaise or even two, to cover potatoes liberally.
Shell the eggs and slice, put into bowl and fold in.
Add a pinch of salt, then pretend you are the pizza waiter in your local pizzeria, grind that black pepper. Now black pepper is important, and even though I’ve made Otto since the dinosaurs ruled the earth, I never put enough in, and I end up adding more when I have a portion. Probably better to do this the first time to gauge the pepper.
Remove the Frankfurters from the simmering water, and let them cool, it doesn’t take long. Add washing up liquid to the water and place to one side.
Once the Frankfurters are cooled, slice, and add to bowl, then add another dollop of mayonnaise and another pinch of salt.
Grand finale, get your big wooden spoon and stir. The potatoes shouldn’t break down. If they do, don’t boil them for as long next time, which will be almost impossible as they will be different potatoes… Not to worry.
Add more mayonnaise if it looks dry, and a few more grinds of black pepper.
Decant into rectangular Tupperware type containers (other brands are available), seal and put in the fridge upside down over night.
Use square and rectangle containers, as round bowls play havoc with the trigonometry of the fridge.
Use the water with the washing up liquid in, to wash your utensils.
Next morning turn over the containers.
You can serve straight from fridge.
Its all about taste, creat your own signature dish, Queen Otto or King Otto the third. Maybe you want more of a pickle taste, add more gherkins; more crunch, more crispy bacon or celery. I have used Bratwust in the past, gives it a more meaty taste. Add chilli or capers, shallots instead of onions to tone the harshness down. King Otto isn’t a dictator, he wants you to enjoy the process, as enjoying the process enhances the flavour. And maybe some more salt and black pepper when you serve a portion.Ask first.Garnish with cherry tomatoes, cucumber and basil.Thank you for having a go. Descendant of King Otto