What’s the next Jewish food that follows suit so naturally to a freshly baked loaf of Challah…that would be a steaming bowl of cholent to fill you up. This authentic dish originated in the shtetls of Prussia and has in time become the ubiquitous Shabbat meal staple.
Designed as a meal that would maximize the small presence of meat in the shtetl, cholent combines beans and veggies and other starches to create a very filling and substantial meal for an entire family. The dish is also slow cooked over a very low flame making it perfect for Shabbat considering religious Jews are not allowed to manipulate the flame of the stove during Shabbat and therefore are able to leave the pot on the low heat to stay warm through the duration of the sabbath rest.
Here we go!
3 onions, quartered
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pounds chuck roast, cut into large chunks
1 cup dry kidney beans
1 cup dried pinto beans
1 cup pearl barley
5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into thirds
boiling water to cover
2 (1 ounce) packages dry onion and mushroom soup mix
2 tablespoons garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large oven safe pot or roasting pan, saute onions in oil over medium heat.
2. Add meat, and brown well on all sides.
3. Mix in beans; stir continuously until the beans start to shrivel. Stir in the barley. Add potatoes, and add just enough boiling water to cover the meat and potatoes. Mix in dry soup mix and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes on stove top.
4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
5. Cover pot tightly, and place in preheated oven. Allow to cook overnight for at least 10 to 15 hours. Check periodically to make sure you have enough liquid to cover; add small amounts of water if needed. Do not stir; stirring will break up the chunks of potatoes.