Traditional Meat Cholent (Overnight Jewish Shabbat Stew)

By Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)
January 2, 2011
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Author Notes: Cholent (also known as Chulent or Hamin) is a traditional Jewish stew simmered overnight, for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on the Jewish Sabbath. It was developed to conform with Jewish laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath. In my family, we alternate between a rich meat recipe with lots of beef short ribs and a lighter turkey version. We've also experimented with lamb and vegetarian versions. This recipe is my family's favorite: my mother's traditional meat cholent. For best results, simmer for 20-24 hours. Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)

Serves: 6-8

  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds short ribs cut in between the bones to make individual pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/2 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  1. Heat the oil on medium heat in a large pot, preferably cast iron (I use a Le Creuset and wouldn't use anything else!). Saute the onion for about 10 minutes until translucent.
  2. Add the meat and cook for another 10 minutes, turning the meat over halfway through so both sides get browned.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with about 3 cups of water.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Leave the cholent simmering on low for at least 15 hours. In the Jewish tradition, it is left on a covered fire for about 24 hours, from Friday morning till Saturday lunch. Serve hot, with mustard or cole slaw.

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