Thursday, February 08, 2007

Shabbat CHOLENT Recipe

Here is a traditional cholent updated to reflect today's more sophisticated taste and using easily available ingredients.

1 ¼ cups dry mixed beans
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
200 g (8 oz or one large) onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ Tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp pepper
¾ cup barley
1 ½ lb (700 g) potatoes, peeled, cut into large chunks
1 chunk (about ½ kg or 1 lb) beef brisket
1 smoked beef bone or marrow bone
6 eggs in shell, washed

You may use one kind of beans or mix several kinds. For eye-appeal, I like to mix small white navy beans and large red kidney beans or black beans. Rinse beans then soak for 5 to 8 hours in enough water to have three finger-deep water over top of beans. When soaked, drain.
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and sauté onion until transparent. Add garlic, stir for several minutes over heat then add paprika, salt and pepper, and continue to cook for a minute. Remove from heat.

Combine beans, onion mixture, barley, potatoes, brisket and bone in a large baking dish or dutch oven with a tightly-fitting lid. Carefully slip in raw unshelled eggs and bury them under cholent mix. Add water to cover.

Place tightly covered pot in oven (seal lid with aluminum foil if not absolutely tight) and bake at 100 degrees C (200 degrees F) for at least 6 hours and up to 18 hours. Check liquid level occasionally to prevent cholent from drying out and replenish if needed.
When ready to serve, dig out eggs, shell them and serve in quarters as first course with fresh raw vegetables, crackers, sour cream or yogurt. Remove brisket and slice. Serve brisket and cholent family style on serving dish. The best accompaniment with cholent is an assortment of good pickles and sauerkraut. Yields 6 to 7 generous servings.

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