Recipe: Best Sour Slaw

Best Sour Slaw

At last… the Best Sour Slaw, worthy of serving at your Texas barbecue.

Best Sour Slaw is just that, or at least much better than all the versions I struggled with in my long-ago obsessiveness. The proportions have been dramatically rejiggered, and we’ve added a new ingredient, dried mustard, to open up the taste buds. Serves 8-12.

1 medium head cabbage, shredded
2 T or so Kosher salt
¼ c cider vinegar
1 t dried mustard
1 generous T brown sugar
1 T vegetable oil
1 medium tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
½ bell pepper (any color), seeded and coarsely chopped
1 T celery, poppy or toasted sesame seeds or a mixture
½ t ground pepper (white preferred)

Method: add the cabbage then the salt to a bowl in layers then massage with your hands till all cabbage has had contact with salt. Cure 2 hours or more, until it throws off a good amount of liquid. Wash and drain in strainer or colander. (It does not need to be bone dry.) Mix the dry ingredients with the vinegar then add oil and mix thoroughly; pour over the cabbage along with the seeds and toss to mix. Allow to sit a little so flavors can develop.

THE BACKSTORY: I have long attempted to duplicate the sour slaw at Highland Park Cafeteria in Dallas, TX. I no longer travel there on a frequent basis, so must rely on memory as well as what tastes good. Some things I fretted about, like what kinds of seeds to sprinkle in, turn out not to be very important. The key is a good approach to curing the cabbage, and that light touch of oil to blend the ingredients.

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