Monday, June 11, 2012

CB Makes Coleslaw

Vinegar-y, peppery slaw
I have this thing about unnecessarily cooking things from scratch. Why make my own BBQ sauce when there are millions of great store-bought varieties? Why cook beans from scratch when opening a can takes a fraction of the time? Why in the world would I want to make my own coleslaw when I can just get it already prepared from any grocery store?

There are two reasons, at least for me. The first is the ability to prepare said food item exactly the way I want it- assuming I can make it at all. The second is the satisfaction of not only preparing it myself, but gaining a better idea how it's made. For a long time there were many dishes and sauces shrouded in mystery; there was no way I could ever figure out how to make them. Things like pasta sauce, bread, chilli, salad dressing... Once I tried to make these things, I realized it's not too hard to find out how.

Turns out, there's the internet. And the internet knows a lot of stuff. All you have to do is weed out the bad stuff and take the good stuff!

I'm obsessed with barbeque (barbecue, barbacoa, whatever you want to call it... I prefer BBQ) for a bunch of reasons I'll probably mention later when I post the results of my Oven-Smoker Experiment. In my mind, the perfect accompaniment to a rich, savory and perhaps fatty piece of slow roasted meat is a sharp kick in the head in the form of something tangy, sour, and maybe even bitter. I love pickled cucumbers or jalapeños with my BBQ; I've made pickled red onions to go with carnitas... To top my hopefully delicious oven-smoked chopped bbq pork, I decided to try my hand at coleslaw.

Growing up I remember having all different kinds of coleslaw often; at home, at potlucks, at foot ball games... My favorite kind was always the extra-tangy, extra-peppery, and not-so creamy kind. Turns out, I was able to create a pretty tangy and peppery coleslaw that wasn't too creamy for me. (I loosely based it on this recipe.) If you make it yourself, feel free to vary the amounts to suit your own particular preferences. Pretty sure the Otts have a good recipe- might be a family secret though.

For the slaw:
1 head of cabbage
2 carrots
1/4 white onion (or red, yellow, whatever)

For the dressing:
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste (I used a LOT of black pepper)


1) Shred the cabbage (I was amazed how much shredded cabbage comes from a single head.. and also how cheap cabbage was.. I think $.88 a head!)

2) Shred the carrots (I used a veggie peeler to get carrot strips)

3) Slice the onion fine

4) Combine all the veggies in a big bowl

5) In a separate bowl, whisk/stir/whatever the mayo, vinegar, and any seasonings you'd like

6) Pour over veggies, stir well, taste for seasoning if desired

7) You can eat it immediately, but everything is a little too crispy at this point.. It's best if it sits in the fridge overnight. If there isn't a huge amount of dressing, it seems like a good idea to stir the slaw periodically.

Because this recipe is so simple, you really could do pretty much anything else. Next time I might add some sliced radishes to the slaw; or use red onions instead of white; or add some thin poblano strips for a little bit of heat; I'm sure a little sour cream would make this very creamy, but I generally avoid creamy things. Except ice cream.

I will probably eat this alone (like I just did a second ago) or as a BBQ pork topping, or as a side dish to some other grilled piece of meat. As I type the vinegar and pepper still tingle in my mouth; I can't wait to see how this works with some slow cooked dry rubbed pork.


  1. This on top of a bunch of bbq pork that is drowning in bbq sauce with a touch of blue cheese...mmmmmm mmmmmm good

  2. I didn't have any blue cheese... but I had this for dinner on some slow cooked pork with BBQ... oh yeah

  3. Thanks for the recipe! We make fish(walleye) sandwiches and top them with coleslaw and some franks red hot. MMMM Good!


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