Tuck in to our favorite Sabbath meal with this Traditional Cholent Recipe
Typically served on Shabbat, you’ll have your friends and family clamoring for a bit of this not-too-complex Traditional Cholent Recipe. “Hamin” is a similar dish, referred to as the “Sephardi” version of this stew, and we have a recipe you can find here.
Cholent is the traditional Jewish meat-and-potatoes stew usually simmered overnight and eaten for lunch on Shabbat (the Sabbath). Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish dietary laws which prohibit cooking on the Sabbath (learn more here). The pot is brought to a boil on Friday before the Sabbath begins and is usually kept (or placed later) on a blech (Yiddish for “hotplate”) the following day. There are many variations of the dish so we’ve chosen a traditional and straightforward version here which we’ve made many times.
Key ingredients traditionally found in cholent are of course meat and potatoes, beans and barley, and occasionally carrots. Again, the “Hamin” Sephardi version uses rice instead or alongside the beans and barley, and mostly chicken instead of beef. Sephardim sometimes add whole eggs in the shell which brown overnight. Again, you can find the Traditional Hamin Recipe by clicking here.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooks in: 12 hours – Overnight
Ready in: 12 hours – Overnight
- 1 kg (~2.2 lbs) brisket with fat
- 1 kg (~2.2 lbs) potatoes
- 2 large onions
- 1/2 cup barley
- 250g (1/2 lbs) beans – lima, pinto, chickpeas, red beans, butter beans, white haricot. Mixing alright, do not use kidney beans
- 3-4 Tablespoons light vegetable oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut your onions into slices, potatoes into squares and peel your garlic cloves but keep whole. Rinse/clean barley and beans if needed.
- In a large pot, brown the meat in the oil. Remove and fry onions until soft. Mix in garlic for about 5 minutes.
- Add your meat back to the pot and stack the beans, barley and potatoes all around it while covering each layer with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Add water to your pot until all your ingredients are covered, and bring to a boil. You will continue to see layers of scum (foam) at the top of the water. Remove this two or three time.
- Remove your pot from the heat (so around 10-15 minutes) and cover with a lid. At this point, you’ll want to place it on your blech, in an electric heater or oven overnight on 110°C (225°F).
As always, you’ll want to take the necessary safety precautions that come with leaving a hot stove or cooker on overnight. In addition, you’ll want to make sure the blech is in a safe place where children running around won’t bump into it. On Saturday morning (Shabbat morning) just after services conclude at the synagogue, wait until the family gathers around the table before serving. Open pot at the table and your room will fill with the aroma of the Cholent.
Did you enjoy the Traditional Cholent Recipe? Let us know in the comments what you think of this recipe!
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