Serve this as a side, or use it to top a BBQ pork sandwich
Cookout season will soon be here. So it’s time to seek out side dishes!
Like this one. Coleslaw is always a hit. And you can’t go wrong with bacon. Put them together and . . . instant favorite.
This dish is terrific all by itself, too. Or use it to top a pulled-pork sandwich, or even to garnish fish tacos.
This coleslaw is versatile. And that’s no hogwash.
Recipe: Hot Bacon Coleslaw with (or without) Jalapeño
Creamy Coleslaw is a classic dish. But we like vinaigrette-based slaw even better.
One of our favorite vinaigrette slaws is Jalapeño Coleslaw with Pimentón. So we’re using that recipe as a base for today’s Hot Bacon Coleslaw. But instead of a traditional vinaigrette, we’re substituting a version of the dressing used on our Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing.
We like to use jalapeño peppers in this coleslaw (they provide more ping than heat). But if you’re just not feeling the pepper, feel free to leave them out.
Prep time for this recipe is about 10 minutes. Cooking and assembly add another 15 minutes. You can do your prep work hours ahead of time, then finish the dish right before serving – see Notes. This dish is best served hot from the stove, but it’s also good at room temperature.
This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.
Leftovers keep well for a day or two if refrigerated in an airtight container. Heat them before serving.
- 6 slices of bacon
- ½ red onion (about ½ cup; can substitute white or yellow onion)
- 2 jalapeño peppers (optional; save a couple slices of pepper for garnish)
- salt to taste (several pinches of kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- ~1 pound cabbage (about ½ medium head)
- ~3 tablespoons cider vinegar (eyeball the rendered bacon drippings in Step 4, and add about as much vinegar as bacon grease)
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste (several grinds for us)
- Cut the bacon into pieces of ½ to 1 inch. Spread the bacon pieces out over the surface of a cold frying pan. Place the pan over medium stovetop heat. Cook until the bacon pieces are beginning to brown (about 5 minutes).
- Meanwhile, peel the onion and cut it in half (reserving one half for another use). Cut the remaining half onion into dice or slices of ½ inch or a bit smaller. Set aside.
- Wash the jalapeño peppers and cut them lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (be careful, the oil on these is hot; keep fingers away from your eyes). Mince the pepper roughly (you may want to reserve a few slices for garnish) and set aside. Then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot oil from your skin. Set aside.
- By now, the bacon should be just lightly brown. Remove the bacon pieces from the frying pan (but don’t empty the grease), then drain the bacon on a plate lined with a paper towel. Add the chopped onion and jalapeño to the bacon grease in the frying pan, season with a few pinches of salt, and sauté for 4 minutes.
- While the onion is cooking, wash and dry the cabbage, then cut it in half (reserving one half for another use). Cut the remaining half cabbage in half again, then remove the core. Cut each piece in half again, then use a knife to shred the cabbage across the width of each piece. Cut the cabbage into shreds of 1/8 to ½ inch (depending on your preference). Add the shredded cabbage to the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes (the cabbage will still be a bit crunchy at this point, so cook it longer if you want the texture to be softer).
- Add the cider vinegar and the celery seeds to the frying pan. Stir to combine, then cook down the vinegar for a minute or two. Taste the cabbage mixture, then add black pepper and more salt if necessary. Stir in the cooked bacon pieces.
- Serve the slaw, garnishing it with jalapeño slices if you wish.
- As noted above, you can do most of the prep work for this dish hours ahead of time if you prefer. Slice the bacon, onion, jalapeño peppers, and cabbage, then refrigerate them in airtight containers until you’re ready to cook.
- For extra flavor, add a teaspoon or two of mustard to this dish (along with the vinegar in Step 6). You can use any mustard you fancy, but we suggest Dijon style.
- If you prefer a sweeter slaw, add about a tablespoon of brown sugar in Step 6.
- Don’t like celery seeds? Substitute caraway seeds, or omit the seeds altogether.
- Need a substitute for cider vinegar? You can use wine vinegar, or even ordinary white vinegar.
- You can use either regular green cabbage or Savoy cabbage in this dish. Red cabbage would work well, too.
- How much salt and pepper to use? As much as tastes good to you. If in doubt, use less initially than you think you’ll need. You can always adjust the amount at the end (Step 6).
- This coleslaw makes a great side for almost any grilled or barbecued meat. It would also go well with a spicy sausage like Kielbasa, or even with roast pork.
- Like shredded cabbage on fish tacos? We think this hot bacon slaw works even better. Fish and bacon make a wonderful flavor combo.
“Yum,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “You really brought home the bacon with this dish.”
“Thanks,” I said. “That makes me squeal with delight.”
“Careful with those porker jokes,” said Mrs K R. “I may have to save your bacon again.”
“Guess I’m just a ham,” I said.
“Didn’t I just warn you about pig humor?” said Mrs K R. “Now there may be reporkcussions.
True. I’ve never made a rasher decision.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Jalapeño Coleslaw with Pimentón
Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
Pepper Coleslaw with Garlic Vinaigrette
Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork
Or check out the index for more recipes