Crittenden County Jail Slaw

By Kayb
June 29, 2011

Author Notes: Back in my younger days in the newspaper business, I spent a fair amount of time around the local sheriff's department, nosing for stories. Once I became part of the local landscape, the deputies and jailers would include me in the occasional "feeds," or dinners for law enforcement personnel and local business leaders and politicians. Sometimes these were fried fish, sometimes grilled quail, sometimes crawfish, and on one particular occasion I recall, barbecued goat. But they always had what we all came to call "jail slaw," made by one of the jailers. I loved it so much I eventually talked him out of the recipe. I've made it ever since, and a bowl of it lives in my fridge all the time. There is no better accompaniment to fried fish or a pulled pork sandwich, and it will serve as a more-than-adequate sub for lettuce in a BLT. I tend to leave out the onions and the bell peppers, as I don't care for raw onions and like NO kind of green bell pepper, but your mileage may vary.Kayb

Serves: a bunch, and keeps forever


  • 2 heads cabbage, shredded or julienned
  • 1 head red cabbage, shredded or julienned
  • 1 pound carrots, shredded or julienned or matchsticked
  • 1 large sweet onion, minced fine
  • 1 large green bell pepper, minced fine
  • fresh hot red peppers of your choice, chopped fine, to your taste
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar (more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
In This Recipe


  1. In a large bowl with an airtight cover, layer cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, peppers, onion; repeat until all ingredients are used.
  2. Bring water, vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil and boil, stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved.Pour over layered vegetables, and put top on bowl. Leave undisturbed on countertop for at least 3 hours.
  3. Shake, toss or stir cabbage mixture. Reseal bowl. Repeat twice more, or until slaw has been at room temperature for 12 hours. Stir in spicy brown mustard (you may need more than 1/4 cup, and feel free to add your own favorite kind of prepared mustard if you wish), and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Serve cold, but it's also ok at room temp.

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