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May 6, 2005 11:22 AM


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I would love to hear what secret ingredients people use in their cholent to give it that special taste.

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  1. Though many will tell you that it's too fatty, there's no "cholent meat" like flanken.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Beerhound
      corned beef king

      Amen,flanken is the best. We use 3 to 1 ratio barley to beans , the barley is much better then beans, especially those big white ones, they remind me of Brazil nuts, just a waste of space.

      1. re: corned beef king

        Absolutely agree about the flanken - it's the bones in them, I think, that give the chulent a rich flavor.

        Another thing I've started to do recently, I put my rinsed barley into one of those mesh bags that are used for the soup greens - NOT the tight weave that some people use to avoid shratzim, but the stretchy loose-weave ones. All the kosher butchers seem to carry them; I can get you the exact name if you want. I also use put my onion into one of these bags when I make chicken soup because I don't want loose pieces of onion in the soup. When the soup is done I just squeeze out all the broth & onion flavor & throw the bag with onion away.

        But I digress; back to the barley. I put the barley in these bags (leave loose when you tie it up so there's plenty of room for expansion) since barley is such a favorite with my crowd, and I take out the bag of barley and put it in its own bowl for people to take as a "side."

        1. re: helou


          Could you please give me the name of the bags? Love the idea for the barley!

          1. re: laura10952

            I'm pretty sure it's just cheesecloth sold in a bag shape. It's sometimes sold as "soup bags" or something like that.

            1. re: masteraleph

              The ones that I have are called Sack n Boil and are made by Liebers. I use them for many things; I put rice in them and add to my crockpot Chulent

            2. re: laura10952

              Yes, what masteraleph and Empire State are describing. I seem to be out of them, but I'm going to the butcher in the morning so I'll get more & have the exact brand name.
              Yes, they are just cheesecloth, but they're already put together like a bag so you just have to knot the top so they're very convenient. With other cheesecloth squares you have to fool around and Make a knapsack.

        2. re: Beerhound

          i must humbly disagree with my holy cholent brothers and sisters...but when it comes to incredible cholent meat very little will beat the 1~2 punch of 2nd ct brisket & a nice fatty slab of naval (aka plate) pastrami...both meats can cook forever with ever going dry and awful, and the brisket pulls apart into incredible pasta like strings insuring a piece of meat with every warming bite...GEVALT!!!

          Oh Yes, and my claim fame lies behind a can of Dr. Pepper per crockpot to tie together and balance out my spice mixture including chili powder, garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, colemans dry mustard (London Beit Din), teaspoon elite coffee grinds (adds a nice depth) and dried chipotle powder.

          1. re: gotcholent

            instead of water or DR. Pepper, I use two bottles of the cheapest beer available

            1. re: gotcholent


              While I got youon the wine, I must agree with you on the navel. Except for the obvious fat, navel is also about the least expensive meat around, and that certainly factors heavily into our use of it. Not that we make much cholent at home, but when I'm sponsoring Shabbos morning kiddush ar Or Simcha (my shul in No. Hollywood), I always bring raw navel from my restaurant (the least expensive meat I use) for the cholent maker to use, and it always turns out well. And last Shabbos, at home, my wife used 2nd cut brisket (the second least expensive meat I use at the restaurant) for cholent, and it turned out well. Obviously cutting the meat removes the strands, which means a whole 2nd cut brisket is best left for large pots in institutional kitchens.

              1. re: gotcholent

                Methinks that recipe is actually called chile, but WTH.... That sounds delicious!

                1. re: embee

                  i call it a Texas Cholent the lone star state only meat is allowed in a chili (chile is a vegetable). Bean, potatoes and yes even Kishke would be disqualify my cholent from any chili competition...but's mind-blowingly good.

                  and i've never had a beer cholent that came out without a bitter hoppy aftertaste.
                  what kind of beer have any of you used successfully?

                2. re: gotcholent

                  wish you'd add your recipe to the cholent-recipe library we are building here: - would be great :
                  )Everyone elso, who has great cholent recipes to share are welcome too!

                1. re: abe

                  How much do you put in?

                  1. re: Abby

                    I buy a boc that has two packets in it. I put in approx half a package.

                2. Besides the 1 cup chulent beans (that were soaked overnight and then boiled for 10 minutes and rinsed), 1 cup pearl barley (rinsed), potatoes (red potatoes are great), salt, pepper,paprika, garlic powder, squirt or two of ketchup, Tabl of onion soup mix (not all the time) and garlic beef kilbasee sliced into rings..I think it's the SAUTED ONIONS that do the trick. Don't forget the water to cover + extra.

                  1. Try substituting a can of baked beans instead of chulent beans.

                    1. Flanken, potatoes, kidney and baby lima beans, pearl barley, ketchup, onions (Vidalias if you can find them), honey, and then the SECRET ingredients:

                      CREAM OF WHEAT (yes, it's pareve)
                      INSTANT OATS (thickens it up nicely)
                      and finally, the ONLY seasoning you need, LAWREY'S SEASONING SALT. It's got everything in it, with no MSG.