Last weekend, we had a major kitchen disaster when we managed to turn a nice looking tri tip beef roast into a grey mass of flavourless shredded meat. It was a mustard rubbed roast that I thought would be okay if we threw it in the slow cooker all day and then I planned to make a sauce and eat it on mashed potatoes. NOT!
I drained all the liquid off and put the offending roast in the fridge and gave myself a day or two to think of a clever way of making this thing edible. It was either going to be some sort of taco or make BBQ and because it was already covered in a grainy mustard rub, I decided that BBQ made more sense. If we are going to have BBQ fake brisket sandwiches out of my beef rescue, I was going to need to make some coleslaw.
Shack really loves coleslaw. For just eating on it's own, he tends to like really rich, creamy mayo based coleslaw or really strong vinegar based coleslaws but neither of those really go well with BBQ. When we were on our first road trip in the southern USA, I fell in love with this really mild buttermilk coleslaw that we were often served to eat with our pulled pork sandwiches. When the coleslaw is too strong on it's own, it starts to compete with with smokiness of the meat and the pungent vinegar undertones of the sauce and when it's just mayonnaise, it feels too heavy, fatty and just wrong. I don't need more fat on top of my fatty BBQ. The buttermilk gives it a light twang and it's light in texture with just enough mayo and sour cream (or in this case, greek yogurt) to ensure that it's not too thin and watery.
I have been trying to find the right recipe for years and none of them ever come out exactly like the coleslaw in my mind but this one came pretty close with a few minor changes.
adapted from America's Test Kitchen that I found on A Year in the Kitchen
1 lb cabbage, shredded finely on the mandolin (i like to use half red and half green)
a good pinch of kosher salt
1 carrot grated
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 tbls mayonnaise
2 tbls greek yogurt (or sour cream if you want)
1 green onion, minced
1 tbls cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp grainy dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
toss the shredded cabbage with a good pinch of kosher salt and put in a strainer over a bowl. Set aside and let sit for at least an hour and up to 3 or 4 hours.
When ready to make the salad, rinse the cabbage under cold water and press to remove excess water. Pat dry with paper towels and put in a bowl with the grated carrot and the dressing that you have mixed together in a bowl. Put in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.