Recipe: Coleslaw

Home-made pulled pork and coleslaw

This weekend was largely about watching the NFL playoffs.  When I watch a lot of football, I invite friends over for an excuse to cook a lot.

Saturday’s feast was hamburgers made with freshly ground chuck, sirloin, and brisket.

Sunday’s was pulled pork and coleslaw.  Surprisingly – to me, at least – I’ve been receiving a ton of questions about the coleslaw.  My recipe is based on one I first saw many years ago in the BBQ FAQ that grew out of the old BBQ listserv.  If you have any interest in BBQ (specifically, slow smoking) you need to download the entire FAQ from here.

The coleslaw recipe I started with is the first one in section 15.  I love all of the ingredients, but for my taste the proportions are wrong.  It’s much too wet, for one thing – so here’s how I do it!

  • Shred/grate one head of green cabbage.  I usually use a box grater for this.
  • Sprinkle a little salt on the cabbage, toss to mix, and let it drain in a colander.
  • Shred two carrots into the bowl you’ll toss the coleslaw in.  Two large carrots is slightly too much for one head of cabbage, so I generally shred about a carrot and a half and give the rest to Cthulhu.  He LOVES carrots.
  • Dice one green pepper and add it into the bowl.
  • Grate about a quarter of a small onion into the bowl.  I usually use sweet yellow onions, but red onions work well also.
  • Transfer the cabbage into the bowl and mix well.
  • Add one cup of mayo to the bowl.  It’s important to not start with too much, as it’s easy to make the coleslaw too goopy and there’s no way to un-goop it.  Homemade mayo is stellar, but low-fat Whole Foods house brand works well.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sugar.
  • Add 1/4 cup of dijon mustard.
  • Add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of celery seeds.
  • Grate a little pepper over the bowl.
  • Mix well.  It’ll probably be too dry at this point.  Add more mayo, but don’t add more than 1/4 cup at a time and mix each time after adding more.

Hopefully you’ve got something wonderful like slow-smoked pulled pork to put the coleslaw on!