A while back the topic of cholent came up in several different discussions, so I decided to share some of my favourite cholent recipes.
Cholent is a popular dish for Shabbat with Ashkenazi Jews. It has entered the cuisine of several countries. The recipe below is a typical Hungarian Jewish one. Polish cholent may or may not have beans, and is potatoes based. Cholent is also popular with gentiles in Hungary, and is pronouncedly different from the dish babfőzelék, which is also a popular bean dish.
500 g white beans
1 large onion, chopped
2-3cloves of garlic, crushed
1 smoked goose thigh or breast, or 200g smoked beef
salt to taste
The beans should be soaked overnight.
In a high walled dish half of the beans is spread out. The smoked kosher meat is placed on top of the beans, and it’s then covered by another layer of beans, the finely chopped onions, the crushed garlic and some salt. Add water to cover the beans. Place the kugeln on top and cook slowly.
Because cooking or heating food up is forbidden on the Shabbat (kindling new fire is not allowed), the cholent was often kept warm in the oven overnight.
150 g flour is mixed with 100g of goose lard, a pinch of salt, black pepper and paprika to taste, and mixed with some water to get a hard dough. The dough is rolled up to be about an inch thick. Place it on top of the cholent for cooking.
Alternatively hardboiled eggs can be placed in the cholent after cooking and before it’s placed in the oven.
Non-Jewish Hungarians cook the cholent with smoked ham.
This recipe has been made by my rabbi’s partner for Shabbat kiddush several times, and it’s simply heavenly. It’s another bean based cholent. He uses a large ceramic pot for cooking this, but you may use anything that can stay in teh oven for an extended period of time.
500 g of small white beans
500 g of pinto beans
200 g of pearl barley
2 large onions, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
5 Tsp of goose lard
4 smoked goose thighs
4 bones with marrow
6-8 eggs, well washed
Salt, pepper and a pinch of paprika
6 bay leaves
2 stuffed goose necks (see below for recipe)
Soak the pinto beans in cold water overnight, and the white beans for 45-60 minutes.
Use the lard to stew the onions, and place in the bottom of the dish. Layer some of the beans and the pearl barley. Place the goose thighs and one or two marrow bones on top, cover with some of the garlic and add some of the bay leaves. Cover with a layer of beans, pearl barley, add some salt and pepper. Place brisket, the rest of the the garlic and bay leaved on beans. Cover with beans, and place remianing bones and the stuffed goosenecks, and the well washed, raw eggs on top. Add enough water to cover it. Cover with the remaining beans. Add enough water to covereverything. Cover and put it in the oven. Cook all day at 80°C, checking after several hours if you need to add water.
To prepare the goose necks:
For each of them, you’ll need 1 skin of a goose’s necks, about 50 g of goose meat and 50 g of turkey ground, 2 boiled potatoes mashed, 1 onion finely chopped, salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Tie one end of the skin. Mix the other ingredients, and fill the skin with it and tie the other end. Steam it in a small pot using water and some goose lard.