The moment JR and I bit into pulled pork sandwiches with Tangy Barbecue Sauce, we knew there absolutely had to be a coleslaw recipe in this book to accompany them. Cabbage has a habit of shrinking once you douse it in dressing, so don’t be alarmed by the quantity of chopped cabbage when you start this recipe. If you don’t have a bowl quite large enough to handle all of the prior-to-having-shrunk cabbage, you can work in stages, or use a large stockpot instead. If you’re working in stages, add half of the cabbage to your largest bowl, add the dressing, and then work in the remaining cabbage.
In fact, if you find that you must use this method, that is the most complicated moment of executing this recipe. Quickly, quickly, it comes together, and oh, it goes so darned well with those pork sandwiches. And any other summer party or barbecue food, for that matter.
Estimated cost for four: $4.30. Green cabbage is apparently not quite as fancy as its red counterpart and retails for $0.59 per pound, rather than the $0.69 per pound that red commands, so 2½ pounds costs us $1.48. The olive oil is $0.64. The mustard is $2.99 for 19 tablespoons, and we used 5 1⁄3 tablespoons, so that’s $0.85. The honey is $3.99 for 16 tablespoons, and so that costs us $1.33.
Ah, cabbage. So simple, and yet it has such mass, it requires a bit of explaining. In order to achieve that familiar shredded cabbage look that you recall from experience of coleslaws past, you will first need to remove the external leaves from each head until you get to the clean interior. Don’t get too crazy about this — if you see some bruised or not-so-appetizing-looking bits once you’re in the interior, you can cut around them — you don’t want to decimate the entire head in search of a perfectly clean leaf, after all. Cut the stem from the bottom of the cabbage, and then cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, from the top to the base where the stem once was. Now place the cut side down on your cutting surface, and cut ¼-inch slices crosswise. I find that a serrated knife works well for this. When cutting near the base, simply remove the bits of the solid part, which is the core, and add them to your compost heap if you have one. Place the cut cabbage ribbons into a large serving bowl and move on to the making of the dressing.
Whisk the olive oil, mustard, and honey together in a medium mixing bowl until the honey has dissolved and the dressing is smooth. Pour the dressing over the cabbage, turning the cabbage over itself to be sure the dressing is coating every cabbagey bit. Heed my advice at the top of the recipe if, like me, your largest bowl is not large enough. Once the coleslaw is dressed, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve it forth — perhaps even on a pulled pork sandwich — and enjoy the summer day. Or night.