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A Warm Bowl of Cholent



Cholent is a beef and barley stew that is often eaten on the Jewish Sabbath. All of the ingredients are put into a slow cooker and a hot and somewhat mushy gut buster of a meal is ready by dinner time. Even though I made a basic vegetarian version of cholent, I was not a big fan...until I developed these recipes! Instead of sticking all of the ingredients into a slow cooker, I brown them first and then cook them in the oven. The flavors meld together without turning to mush. I also use pearl barley which adds creaminess to the cholent. Depending on your appetite, each version serves 2-4.

Veggie Version

1-2 TBS olive oil

½ lb. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

3 small yellow potatoes, quartered (skins on or off--your preference)

2 stalks of celery, large chopped

3 carrots, large chopped

1 small onion, large chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt & pepper to taste

1-1/2 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

½ cup fresh or frozen corn (no need to defrost)

½ cup pearl barley, uncooked

2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or broth

1 TBS each fresh parsley and chives for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat a large skillet on medium. Add 1 TBS olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until brown. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and place them in a single layer in an 8 x 8 casserole dish.

Return the skillet to the heat (you may need to add more olive oil). Dab any excess moisture from the vegetables (especially the potatoes) with a paper towel or lint-free kitchen towel. Add the potatoes, celery, carrots, and onion to the skillet. Sauté until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Remove the vegetables from the pan and layer on top of the mushrooms. Layer the corn and then the pearl barley on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the remaining 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.

Return the skillet to the heat. Add the stock to the skillet and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the stock over all of the ingredients in the casserole dish, making sure that the barley is completely covered. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.

Place the casserole dish into the oven. Do not remove the lid or foil. Cook for 2 hours. Remove the dish from the oven. Allow the cholent to sit for at least 5 minutes before removing the lid (be careful—it will still be hot!).

Serve in bowls and garnish with the parsley and chives.

Meaty Version

1-2 TBS olive oil

½ lb. stew beef, cut in large pieces

3 small yellow potatoes, large chopped (skins on or off--your preference)

2 stalks of celery, large chopped

3 carrots, large chopped

1 small onion, large chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt & pepper to taste

1-1/2 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

½ cup pearl barley, uncooked

2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or broth or beef stock or broth

1 TBS each fresh parsley and chives for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat a large skillet on medium. Add 1 TBS olive oil. Add the beef and sauté until brown on all sides. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. Remove the beef from the skillet and place it in a single layer in an 8 x 8 casserole dish.

Return the skillet to the heat (you may need to add more olive oil). Dab any excess moisture from the vegetables (especially the potatoes) with a paper towel or lint-free kitchen towel. Add the potatoes, celery, carrots and onion to the skillet. Sauté until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Remove the vegetables from the pan and layer on top of the beef. Cover the beef with the pearl barley. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the remaining 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.

Return the skillet to the heat. Add the stock to the skillet and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the stock over all of the ingredients in the casserole dish, making sure that the barley is completely covered. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.

Place the casserole dish into the oven. Do not remove the lid or foil. Cook for 2 hours. Remove the dish from the oven. Allow the cholent to sit for at least 5 minutes before removing the lid (be careful—it will still be hot!).

Serve in bowls and garnish with the parsley and chives.

Don’t Freak Out!

1) Cholent tastes even better the next day. To reheat it, add a bit of water or stock (about ¼ cup to start) and stir well. Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for a few minutes, stirring at the halfway point. You could also reheat it on the stove with a bit of water or stock but I find the microwave works best.

2) Make it gluten-free. Substitute ½ cup brown, basmati or white rice for the barley.

3) I like to add a pat of butter or a drizzle of olive or truffle oil over the top. Omit the butter from the Meaty Version if you want to keep it kosher.


Quarter the mushrooms and slice the beef (use two cutting boards and knives).


Chop the vegetables and brown the mushrooms and beef in two separate pans.



Put the beef and mushrooms in their own casseroles. Brown the veggies in their respective pans.



Layer the vegetables.

Spread the barley over the Meaty Version & the barley and corn over the Veggie.


Return each pan to the stove. Heat on medium and add the vegetable stock. Scrape up the brown bits. Remove from the heat.

Pour the vegetable stock over each casserole. Make sure to cover all of the barley.

Opmerkingen


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