Help me make the best cholent ever without killing my guests! (Although that latter part's not a dealbreaker....)
December 26, 2011 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Recipe Recommendations Needed! I'm making cholent next weekend and I want it to be tasty, spectacular and different. Would like to think outside the box a little and wow my guests. Have you had or made any recipes that just totally knocked your socks off? Unusual ingredients are fine, as long as the dish remains kosher.

Additional info:

Cholent is usually cooked for a solid 10 hours from mid-to late-afternoon on Friday to lunchtime on Saturday -- all under a low, constant heat. However, we do not keep "shomer shabbat" and have no problem turning the crock pot off when something's done. So if a recipe needs to be cooked for a shorter period of time, that's okay!
posted by zarq to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, my favourite cholent recipe (I have no recollection of quantities, but that just makes it better, right?) was roughly as follows:
Stew meat, usually beef
Tomato paste
Garlic (paste or powder)
Bay leaf
Cinnamon powder (or a stick could work, too)
Ginger (paste or powder)
If you're using kosher meat, no salt necessary.
Cumin seed
Caraway seed.

Heat a little cooking oil, add the cumin, caraway, and bay leaf. When they start to crackle, add the chopped onion, and let if soften a little. Add the meat and let it brown a little. Basically you're just searing the meat.

Then you just dump everything else in and let it cook. Sigh. Saturday afternoon deliciousness.
posted by bardophile at 9:49 AM on December 26, 2011

Not a specific recipe, but a recommendation: use beef, preferably brisket!! For the past three years I have been eating the cholent made by the Lubavitcher rebbe in my town, and he makes it with chicken, and it's awful. It has improved slightly in the last three years, to the point where it is now barely edible. Please. When it comes to cholent, it ain't stew if it don't moo.
posted by ubiquity at 10:11 AM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Please. When it comes to cholent, it ain't stew if it don't moo.

That's hilarious. :)
posted by zarq at 10:14 AM on December 26, 2011

Since you're looking for spectacular and different, this one comes from my dearest friends:

Chana and Jeremy's lamb cholent

lamb, in pieces (on or off bone). Brown this ahead of time, if you have the time.
1 pack goya mixed beans (6 bean or 8 bean)
2-3 onions
if lamb is off bone, add marrow bones
to taste, add:
tobasco sauce (frank's red hot)
paprika (lots)
cayenne pepper (tiny bit)
brown sugar if it's too spicy
2-4 bottles of beer (sam adams) + 1 bottle water

Sorry it doesn't moo - our best mooing recipe is pretty simple:
2-2.5 lb french roast
4 medium potatoes
2 medium onions
15 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
add to pot in this order: onions (sliced in circles), meat, then layer potatoes (cut in segments) and garlic cloves, add salt and pepper liberally, then fill with water to cover.
(doesn't sound like much - no beans, no barley, but damn the house starts smelling amazing by 4 am)
posted by Mchelly at 2:27 PM on December 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

(oh, and for any non-cholent-familiar folks looking to make these recipes) :

Put all ingredients into a heavy pot with a close-fitting lid (or cover with foil before covering with lid), then bake at 250 degrees for 12-15 hours

warning - if you have dogs, expect the whining to start around 2-3am
posted by Mchelly at 2:32 PM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

my mom used to always add pastrami in with the regular beef - it imparts a pretty amazing flavor to the whole cholent. and if you put a whole egg or two on top to cook, it will be pretty delicious, though it won't necessarily add flavor.
posted by taltalim at 4:49 PM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I always liked sliced hot dogs and beer in mine.
posted by callmejay at 11:45 AM on December 27, 2011

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