Monday, April 27, 2009

Bacon on the Barbecue

My best friend stopped by after work Saturday. It was a perfect 82 degree day, a brisk breeze - it was time. Time to drag the barbecue out from the barn. Data Viking and friends had dragged out all the chairs and set up the fire pit a few weekends ago for a dinner, but the grill was still under cover. But what to make? Burgers. OK, that's easy. But what to GO with the burgers?

I got hooked on coleslaw on some sandwiches and burgers after reading a Robert Parker Spenser novel in which he put deli coleslaw on a tuna salad sandwich. (Yes, I'm a big Robert Parker fan, especially the early Spenser books). I was hooked. Now, that's often all I put on my burger, except for perhaps a slice of cheddar. But not just any coleslaw that night, with a dear and long trusted friend - Bacon coleslaw. You start with some fresh cabbage, not the bagged stuff, sliced not too thin and mixed with orange or yellow peppers, crumbled blue cheese and bacon. You can even cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet over the grill so you don't heat up your kitchen. Here is the salad before the dressing. Yum.Next the dressing, made with homemade ranch to which honey and red wine vinegar are added and allowed to blend. My friend said it was more "salad" than slaw, "salads good for you, right?!"and then proceeded to eat a bowl's worth of it before the burgers even went on the grill. It was that good.

Grill your burgers, top with the cold, crunchy slaw, and enjoy. Some folks like a slice of cheese, melted on the beef just before it comes off the grill, but it doesn't really need it.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
I had mine pristine - no cheese, just some slaw on the freshly grilled range beef, served with fresh bakery buns and an ice cold beer.
Slàinte mhòr agad!


  1. I don't know of which I'm more jealous ... the burgers, or the warm weather in which to grill them.

    Okay, it's the burgers.

    WV: uredi = yes, bring on the food!

  2. Being sorta from the South...coleslaw is, indeed, a legitimate burger/BB-Q topping! But Bacon Coleslaw? That just takes it to a whole 'nother level! I just happen to have those very ingrediants in the fridge...

    And living in the South--the grill gets used all year long. Who am I kidding? It'd get used in a snowstorm if there was a brisket to smoke or steaks to grill!

  3. Hopefully, you and the dinner company had a couple of spare notches left on the pistol belts before you partook of the victuals.

  4. The early Spencer novels were just excellent. But somewhere in the `90s, they started to seem as predictable as a Louis L'Amour western. They read as though they had just been churned out in order to meet a deadline and since there were a few hundred thousand or so people who would buy it regardless, nobody gave a frak about it.

    The same thing happens to a lot of authors, I think. They have contracts calling for X books over Y period of time and they deliver, even if the books should have been sent straight to the pulp mill. It happened to Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwall (I threw the book that had a former Soviet nuclear sub in it across the room), and most others.

    The system extracts all of the creative juices from an author, right down to the bile and offal.

    I am surprised that Sue Grafton has turned out good works (I haven't read "T" yet), but she doesn't seem to be on a production schedule. On the othr hand, Janet Evanovich's numbered series with Stephanie Plum seems to be showing some strain at the seams.

    Prolly enough of the literary criticism for tonight.

    (Word verification: Props. How cool is that?)

  5. In the south, we like coleslaw on our hotdogs, so this isn't so foreign. I especially like the idea of the it naked on your burger. This is definetly on my reading AND bbq to-do list, thanks, B!

  6. I can almost taste that.....

    You can bet I'll try making that myself, real soon. It just looks too good not to.

    Bacon slaw salad..... Oh YUM!

  7. First,yes you are all correct-homemade coleslaw on any sandwich picks it up a little.
    Next,on the subject of good writers-do any of you read Stephen Hunter?He seems to know a good deal about guns and shooting and promotes Marines and cops as heroes.Good stuff.
    Last,Brigid your cooking and writing and writing about cooking are all amazing.

  8. You're killing me -- but in a good way.

  9. Anon,

    Stephen Hunter is a TR grad.

  10. Yum. I love slaw, and bacon slaw sounds like teh awesome.

    Also teh awesome is the 1950s picture of Ward and June Clever.

  11. I always give my cole slaw to Toni. Can't stand the stuff. Mine went begging Sunday at the BRBP, but with you guys handing out nachos and dip, it probably went unnoticed as well.


  12. Hi Brigid,

    "And Great Health To You" too. Can't seem to go to bed without reading your posts. It is 12.20 p.m. here. The high today was 85 degrees. Didn't know it got that warm in Indiana. Good post as usual. Good recipe. Another one I will have to try. I like the way you worked bacon into it. My greatest wish is to make your guest list one of these days. Don't know how. Providence maybe?

    Something you wrote, again touched me deeply. I wrote it down, and credited it to you. I assume it is yours, since you didn't attribute it to anyone else. I am talking about the quote in your side bar, "Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch ..." Beautifully written, profound, concise, hard hitting. Words to live by.

    You truly are a remarkable, and gifted woman, that I hope to have the privilege to meet, some day.

  13. I have to give it up to the people who convert to the Jewish / Muslim faiths and give up bacon ON PURPOSE! Talk about a sacrifice - I'd give up a digit or two than give up bacon.

    Bacon and coleslaw - wow, I never thought of that combination, but it sure does sound tasty - thanks for the suggestion.

  14. Wowie...I can just picture the divorce proceedings now...

    Judge: Reasons for divorce?
    Husband: She put coleslaw on her brisket. I just couldn't look her in the eyes after that.
    Judge: Irreconcilable differences it is!

    Amazing how we're still together despite our cultural diversity!

  15. Add some fries to that coleslaw and you'll be doing it Pittsburgh style...;-)

  16. That sure does look good. A bit beyond my skill and patience level, but alluring none the less.

  17. Brigid,
    Thomas Cahill's: "How the Irish Saved Civilization" is a favorite read of mine. It is a delightful read and well researched. If your inclination continues along the same path, you might want to read the opening chapters of J.R.H.Moorman's "A History of the Church in England" published by Morehouse.

    Bacon Slaw?!?!? Lordy, you do know how to apply that velvet hammer to a feller.

    Are you familiar with the writings and PBS show with the questionable moniker:
    "The Two Fat Ladies"? Extrodinary cooks and their travels around England, and elsewhere, exploring regional cooking.

    They did a couple of chapters on bird (grouse) and venison hunting and preparation.

  18. Brigid,
    Secondary thought...(it happens with we tangential thinkers, not always linear!)

    Your post: "The Color of Morning" started the juices flowing and I posted a recollection of pronghorn hunting over on:

  19. Sounds great! My favorite cole slaw is KFC.

    How about cole slaw on hot dogs? (I never did like sauerkraut.)

    It's 12:15 - Lunchtime!

  20. Sounds as yummy as all your suggestions Brigid! Soon be warm enough for the bbq here at 53 degrees north!

  21. And all I got was meatballs and pasta...

    I don't know why I keep punishing myself here with your culinary exuberance.

    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
    The Range Reviews: Tactical.
    Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

  22. Bacon and coleslaw in the same dish? On burgers? Could I get a side order of Lipitor with that, please?

    Mike :)

  23. I'm not big on Slaw, but I love the Spenser books and the Jesse Stone books too. Robert B. Parker is a wonderful writer and Spenser is a great character.

  24. Mmm. I've been liking Porter and Stout lately. And anything from Sweetwater, for that matter.

  25. Sven, nothing wrong with the Two Fat Ladies title, have been lucky enough to meet Clarissa several times and Jennifer, may she rest in peace, once in the late 90s. Both delighted in the shows name and were even more impressive in the flesh than on the screen. If you havn't seen it yet keep an eye out for Clarissa and the Countryman, a wonderfully politically incorrect TV series on hunting, shoot, fishing, cooking and countryside

  26. WANT!
    I can't eat bread, but nothing says I can't have the hamburger patty smothered in coleslaw WITHOUT the bun, right?

  27. The only thing secondary to my passion for guns and ammo is my passion for good paperbacks... Robert B. Parker and Lawrence Sanders are my faves.

  28. Brigid,

    I saw this and knew you are one of the few with the profound understanding of these subjects to appreciated this combination:

    I wasn't sure whether to comment here on the Meat Gun post.


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