Old Fashioned Cabbage Slaw

Originally Posted by Jess – March 31, 2015Pepper Steak Sandwiches with Old Fashioned Cabbage Slaw

This ain’t your Grandma’s cabbage slaw. Ok… Well, if Grandma’s legacy is that of being a fabulous cook then yes, yes it is.

I was looking at the ingredients for “Dressing for Cabbage Slaw” in the “All Maine Cooking” book from the late 1960’s and was curious about the use of fat in the recipe. I decided to try this as I have 2 lovely green cabbages in cold storage, and a jar of liquid gold (AKA Springdell bacon fat) left from Wednesday’s BLTs.


Yes, liquid gold.  Ok, so it’s not much to look at, (frankly more like something that belongs in a doctor’s office) but this is a delicious addition to many recipes.  The deliberate use of fat in a dish may be off-putting to the health conscious, but a little does go a long way in enhancing the flavor of cabbage, collard greens, and many other veggies.  

When I saw the word “fat” on the ingredients list for the slaw dressing, I was reminded of my Nan’s infamous potato salad.  Many years ago, I shadowed her in the kitchen as she made it.  We came to the ingredient she called “bacon juice” (which turns out to be the bacon fat, though she was trying to convince me that it was otherwise).  It became a joke in my family that the secret to Nan’s good cooking is that there must be bacon juice in everything.  When I make something my other half enjoys, his first response is usually, “This is great. Is it the bacon juice?”  

After mixing the eggs, sugar, water, salt, vinegar, mustard, and celery salt, this sits in a double boiler (or a makeshift one as shown) and is stirred with a constant whisk.


It then starts to thicken after a few minutes and when that happens, you remove it from the heat and stir in the bacon fat like so.  The heat from the mixture is enough to melt the bacon fat.


Drizzle it over your cabbage, carrots, and any other shredded slaw veggies that you desire.


It is scrumptious and the fresh Springdell bacon fat really gives it a smoky and irresistible flavor, setting it miles apart from the milky watery coleslaw we usually see.  


Dressing for Cabbage Slaw
An old fashioned and down home slaw dressing.
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 tesapoon mustard (I used Dijon, and about 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/16 teaspoon celery salt (I used 1/4 tsp celery seed)
  • 2 tablespoons fat (I used bacon fat)
  1. Boil water in a double boiler (I used a small saucepan inside a slightly larger saucepan and it worked fine, but be careful!)
  2. Once the water is boiling, whisk in all of the ingredients except the fat.
  3. Continue whisking constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove the mixture from heat and immediately stir in the fat.
  4. Drizzle on your slaw veggies.
  1. I found this to be even better the next day.
Adapted from All Maine Cooking, Mrs. Philbrick, Leeds Maine

About Jess

Jess Anderson is the creator of CSA|365 and is passionate about the local food movement. A long time member of Springdell and a busy mother of two, Jess loves keeping her family fed by honest local food.