What on earth is cholent you ask? Wikipedia says that “Cholent (Yiddish: טשאָלנט, tsholnt or tshoolnt) or hamin (Hebrew: חמין) is a traditional Jewish stew simmered overnight, for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on Shabbat (the Sabbath.) Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish religious laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath. The pot is brought to boil on Friday before the Sabbath begins, and kept on a blech or hotplate, or placed in a slow oven or electric slow cooker until the following day.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholent
Here’s how I describe it, “Yummy, healthy stew that you eat in traditional Jewish homes on Shabbat. Rarely made without flanken, a cut of red meat, which sure makes it delicious.”
Well, now that I’ve set myself on a sort of different path, I decided that it might be fun to try out a version of this traditional stew without the meat. I had heard rumors that it could be quite good that way. After tasting it, I have to admit, it is awesome without the meat. We’re having guests tonight for dinner (more on the rest of that meal later) and I’ll be serving it, proudly!
makes enough for a crowd
4 large sweet potatoes (or white potatoes)
3/4 cup barley
3/4 cup beans–adzuki, navy, pinto, kidney or a mix
1 large plus 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp sea salt
pepper to taste
1 Tbsp sweet paprika
3 big squirts catsup
2 Tbsp onion soup mix (I used a healthy one that I got at Whole Foods, not Lipton’s, so if you use a Lipton’s type soup mix, reduce the salt)
Put all ingredients into a crock pot. Add water to cover plus one inch. Set slow cooker to high for 4 hours, then set to low (if you are going to be cooking it for more than 6 hours on low, I would set the crock pot to the “warm” setting after 10 total hours of cooking).