Pico Slaw — Pico de Gallo and Cabbage Collide

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell
mexican slaw

Pico Slaw tops our favorite recipe list. Serve it with smoky beef brisket, pork, or chicken tacos. This stuff is fantastic.

Freezer overload is a common side effect of recipe and cookbook development. We suffered an acute case of this ailment while compiling Cheater BBQ. Dangerously rock-hard tubs of pulled pork and brisket seemed to fall from the freezer every time we opened the door. Even though the kids were miffed that we never had enough room for a box of popsicles, Cheater freezer overload turned out to be a nice problem to have.

Those frozen meat bricks turned into pots of posole, smoked paprika goulash, or a rib-sticking dinner baked under cornbread. R.B. even acquired a new signature weekend brunch dish of crispy smoky beef brisket potato hash served with his famous cheesy eggs.

The chapter Two Timing Cheaters has lots of ideas for leftover Cheater meat. Hopefully, the recipes will inspire you to come up with your own family-pleasers. That’s what keeps happening with us. The freezer-fresh Cheater BBQ (mystery meat, if R.B. wasn’t there to insist on neat labeling) still stirs up enough motivation for all kinds of quick suppers.

Pico Slaw is high on our list for spicing up these Cheater leftovers. It’s a friendly border crossing between Mexican pico de gallo and U.S. cole slaw that beautifully turns a frozen block of BBQ into a Bar-B-Coa fiesta. The recipe starts with a convenient bag of slaw (any bag of shredded cabbage mix will do) stirred up with traditional pico ingredients. Pico’s fresh lemon or lime juice replaces slaw’s usual vinegar. Just like regular slaw, mayo and sugar should be added according to your own taste. The mayo is optional, and the recipe tastes great both ways. In fact, here in Tennessee, vinegary slaw piled on pulled pork sandwiches often contains no mayo at all.

Since pico isn’t usually sweet, we were pleased by how the slaw’s touch of sugar strengthened the fresh tomato flavor and a spoonful of mayo added a light creaminess. Last time we enjoyed Pico Slaw, R.B. pan-crisped some Cheater pulled pork and we scooped it all up with warm corn tortillas. A side of chunky guacamole is always a plus.

Great side with burgers as well.



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