A couple of years ago when my youngest daughter Lauren was still living in Denver, she called me on her way to my house to get her dog after work and wanted to know if I had a good slaw recipe. Something different she said; she was heading to a barbecue that night and slaw was a request from the hostess. It’s not like I’m the slaw queen exactly but I know why she asked..she knew she could count on something other than the typical mayonnaise mixture; that’s how we roll!
I recalled making a wonderful warm bacon slaw with my Dad once when I had visited my parents in St. Louis after moving to North Carolina. I can’t say for sure now but I’m betting it was something he picked up from my Grandma Lizette who prepared a lot of German dishes; making it warm reminded me a bit of his other favorite, German Potato Salad, it’s warm too. It had been a LONG time but seemed perfect for the fall weather we were starting to get in Denver.
Let’s call this my updated version of that creation. I’m certain my Dad did not use either balsamic vinegar or Ancho Chili powder then but the end result for Lauren when she took this dish to feed friends all these many years later? It was a huge hit with her friends and I had to PROMISE to get this recipe on my blog for them so the deed was done and everyone was happy. Fast forward 5+ years and I realize everyone but me. Not only did I want to make this again for a summer cookout but it would let me update a photo that was cringeworthy. Lauren decided to pick up one purple and one regular head of cabbage that day and it was perfect; the combination of colors is so pretty. I was lucky to find two small heads about the size of softballs but if you get regular size heads, either double the recipe or make a cold slaw as well…I love them both.
If you’re like me and think of cabbage cooking on the stove and recall a bad memory of your entire home smelling less than savory; no worries. This cabbage is cooked just a bit in a warm bacon dressing with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and mustard only until it starts to wilt. Not until it gets mushy and decides to totally take over your home.
Do you know how hard it is to photograph some foods; especially brownish, cabbage like foods? Because seriously this is not really a pretty food; it’s just a yummy one. I threw in some gratuitous peas to help but on this one you’ll just have to trust me. :)
- Equivalent of 1 large head of cabbage; we actually did a half of regular and a half of purple (I used the rest when I made it a 2nd time for..tada...ME!)
- ½ lb bacon
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1-2 tsp Ancho Chili Powder (optional...or to taste)
- 1 tsp celery seed
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Slice cabbage into ¼-1/2" strips. We used 6mm blade on the Cuisinart. Put into bowl.
- Cut bacon into pieces and put into a large pot. Cook until fat has rendered and the bacon is starting to crisp up.
- Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and saute until onions are soft but not caramelized, approximately 3 more minutes.
- Add vinegar, sugar, mustard, chili powder, celery seed, salt and pepper to pan and mix well. Add cabbage, toss well and cook for 5-7 minutes til desired tenderness. I like mine with just a bit of crunch, but you can cook it until it suits your taste.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve warm or room temperature.
One thing I love about this recipe for summer events is it’s portability…no mayo means no risk of spoilage so it’s perfect to bring to a picnic or barbecue.
Join myself and the rest of the Food Network’s blogger crew for some great recipes to make fabulous slaw dishes this summer. Join us each week for our #SummerSoiree and be sure to visit our Pinterest board too.
Feed Me Phoebe: Asian Braised Cabbage Slaw with Black Rice and Arugula
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Red and Green Slaw
Creative Culinary: Coleslaw with Warm Bacon Dressing
Healthy Eats: 7 Healthy Slaws for Every Palate
Virtually Homemade: Easy Asian Slaw with Roasted Chicken
Napa Farmhouse 1885: The Best Slaw Recipes
Taste with the Eyes: Fancy Fennel and Cabbage Slaw with Bacon, Egg, Peas
The Cultural Dish: Mac Nut Slaw (Hawaiian Cole Slaw)
Weelicious: Asian Slaw
Homemade Delish: Jalapeno and Peach Slaw
Daisy at Home: Fresh Vegetable Slaw
The Mom 100: Creamy Blue Cheese and Bacon Coleslaw
FN Dish: It’s Slaw Good: 6 Must-Make Summertime Slaws