Shabbat Ambrosia for the Ashkenaz

 English Speakers -

 Believe it or not, cooler weather will eventually come to Israel. You'll want to start thinking about preparing a traditional Ashkenaz cholent for Shabbos lunch.  It's easy. This is what you do:

Several hours before sun down on Friday afternoon start cooking this mouth-watering cholent -



Cholent Ingredients for a slow cooker or Dutch oven:

 Cholent Ingredients for slow cooker

·         1 lb large potatoes, peeled and halved

·         1 onion, chopped

·         1 1/2 lbs beef brisket or some other fatty meat, cut into chunks

·         2 marrow bones

·         1/2 cup dried beans - (not kidney), a mixture OK.  Quick soak prior to cooking.

·         1/4 cup pearl barley

·         2 whole garlic cloves

1/4 tsp black pepper

·         1 cup chicken broth

·         1/2 tbsp salt

·         1 tsp paprika

·         1 kishke (optional, but many people like it)

·         Water (varies)

Serves 4

1. Bring the beans to a boil for 5 minutes. Let them soak in the  water for 1 hour, then drain and rinse well.

2. Place the potatoes in a single layer on the bottom of slow cooker.

3. Sprinkle the onions over the potatoes.

4. Place the beef in a single layer on top of the onions and potatoes. Place the two marrow bones in the meat. If you're adding a kishke, now would be the time to put it in the cooker.

5. Rinse the beans clean, checking for any stones or impurities. Do the same with the barley. Sprinkle the beans and grains over the top of the meat. Place the whole garlic cloves into the meat, evenly spaced. Sprinkle the whole mixture with the black pepper.

6. In a container, whisk together the chicken broth, salt and paprika.

7. Pour the liquid over the cholent. Add additional water until all of the beans and pieces of meat are covered.  It's usually another 2 cups of water in my slow cooker-- it will vary; add a bit more because the barley will soak it up.
8. Cook on low heat for 16 hours.  To cook in the oven, layer the ingredients in a 4 quart Dutch oven. Make sure you have enough liquid to just cover all ingredients. Cover with lid and cook cholent at 200 degrees for 12-16 hours.

If you haven't tried making a cholent, you don't know what you are missing.  There are probably dozens of variations on this theme, and although I don't pretend to have a lock on the best one, it's what I am looking forward to.  Like many other things, there are really no bad cholents, only some are better than others.

Kol tov,