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Now, I confess I haven’t made Cholent for possibly 2-3 years. I have no idea why… at one point I made it at least once a week, sometimes more. My pregnancy with Noah changed my cooking, and I think this meal just got a bit forgotten. But I remember it now… soulful, humble food, perfect for a saturday afternoon.

Conservative/observant jews make Cholent on Friday, and put it in the crock pot on low. Saturday early afternoon it is perfectly ready and warm, a decadent treat on a day of eating cold foods. This tradition is one  that I’m planning to come back to as soon as I replace my crock pot, and untill then I’ll just remember it fondly and reminise. I hope you enjoy it as well as I do.

Cholent is not so much a recipe as it is a guide. You can adapt it as you wish, just make sure you don’t forget the secret ingredient… making sure you serve it piping hot in a nice big bowl!

Ingredients: depending on the size of your crock or dutch oven you’ll use the higher or lower amounts.

  • 2-3 cups unsoaked, rinsed beans (I use a combination of kidney beans, navy beans and lima beans)
  • 1-2 onions, sliced/chopped into desired sizes
  • 6-10 small potatoes, chopped or whole depending on how you like it. I like them unpeeled and halved/quartered
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, prepared like the other potatoes
  • 1-2 lbs meat. Sometimes I use stew meat, lamb especially, but typically I use chicken drumsticks or thighs.
  • 1+ cup pearled barley (this is my FAVORITE part!)
  • tomato paste. I ususally use 2 tbsp or so.
  • whole peeled garlic cloves (I usually put about half the clove)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder

1. Combine all ingredients in the crock pot on low, or in a heavy dutch oven on the lowest flame you can get.

2. Cover with a good inch of water, allow to cook 8-18 hours (for the crock pot we usually eat after 14ish hours). Enjoy your meal!


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