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Cholent

I am responsible for making Cholent for my synagogue every week. Actually I make two cholents ever week: a fleshig cholent and a matching parve cholent.

I have made some very interesting cholents including:

- Beef Barley Cholent
- Bean Cholent
- Thanksgiving Turkey Cholent
- Hamim
- Halim
- Lamb
- Death By Cholent (Beer, Beans, Salami, Pastrami, and Corned Beef)

This past week I combined several recipes making a Black Eyed Pea and Garbanzo Bean Lamb Cholent seasoned with Garlic, Tumeric, Cumin, and Whole Corriander Seeds. The Sefardi minyan (we have Ashkenazi and Sefardi minyanim) consensus was the Cholent was a whole new level; an obvious bias to the middle eastern seasoning.

I am interested in hearing from any and all their favorite and/or most interesting Cholent Recipe. Please post your recommendations. And if in Southern California, feel free to join us for Shabbat at Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine.

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  1. Hi Abba,

    I don't have any real advice, but actually a lot of questions?

    How much cholent do you make? What size crowd are you serving? And what are your weekly expense for this?

    7 Replies
    1. re: vallevin

      I make 2 18 Quart Crock Pots of Cholent. One is full with a Fleshig Cholent, and one I fill 1/2 way for a Parve Cholent.

      We generally get between 125 and 200 people on a Shabbat for Kiddush. Kiddush is usually 2 salads, Chummus, Guacamole, Pita Chips, Potato Chips, Olives, Pickles, Chicken wings (drumettes), Fruit Salad, Cakes, and usually have either Tuna or Egg Salad (sometimes Herring or whitefish salad) for those who don't eat meat on a separate table.

      The cholent itself is not so expensive except for the meat. The meat usually runs approximately $50 a week.

      1. re: abbazw

        I know I am being incredibly nosy, but I am doing some fact finding. Does someone cover for you if cannot make the cholent in a given week?

        1. re: vallevin

          Are you volunteering?

          Yes, there are people who can cover for me if I am unable to be there for a Shabbat. It does happen, but not too often.

          Additionally, some people want to make their own Kiddush, and if not the entire Kiddush, at least the Cholent. I invite and encourage people to do so since in further fosters the sense of community we are trying to build. It also provides the community with diversity so they do not have to have the same thing week after week.

          That is why I am looking for new and exciting things to do with Cholent.

          1. re: abbazw

            Would you be willing to share some recipes? Not the amounts necessarily (since most people would be making a much smaller cholent), but the ingredients you put in? Of course, the amounts would be fine too!
            Thanks.

            1. re: emacat

              I would be happy to share my recipes. I had started a Cholent Lovers Group on Facebook a while ago, but it never really caught on. I will post my recipe of the week there each week.

              In addition, if you have any questions about it, I would be happy to share my experience thus far. The list above is was overly simplified for brievity in the forum; however, I have done some very avant garde things. For example, this year for Thanksgiving, I put a whole turkey in a pot with Long Grain and Wild Rice, Osem Chicken Consomme mix, and whole cranberries. The cholent came out was very different and most people liked it; especially the cranberries which gave it an unusual tartness.

              I will post a full list of ingredients of this weeks cholent on the Cholent Lover's Facebook group.

              I look forward to sharing recipes.

              1. re: abbazw

                We've had a long thread over the past 1.5 years about one-pot slow-cooker meals. Not everything in there is a chulent per se, but you might find some interesting ideas: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/666533

                1. re: GilaB

                  Thanks GilaB. And I made a mistake, my Facebook Cholent Forum is the Shabbat Cholent Connection. I posted my ingredients for the past week's Cholent on that site.

    2. I have a few good recipes - I just made a vegetarian chulent this week from Moosewood Classics. I also have a good lamb hamin recipe from a friend, and my mom's meat chukent is simply the BEST. Let me know if you want the info about any of them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rlocker

        I would love both. Thanks.

      2. Hi, can I please have your recipe for the Thanksgiving turkey cholent? I am making brisket for Thanksgivukkah but some guests don't eat red meat. Ordering 5 lbs of Organic Pasture Raised turkey drumsticks from Kol Foods to make the turkey cholent. Will that work?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bite_Me

          I would use turkey thighs. Legs don't hold up as well to the slow cooking, imo.

          1. re: DeisCane

            I generally don't have recipes, but here is what I would do. I take a whole Turkey (using only dark meat would be even better - thighs and backs). I put it on a base of what you would usually put in for stuffing (Onions, Garlic, celery, mushroom, carrot) chopped coarsely. I then add the usually poultry herbs (I like using fresh) Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme & Marjoram. I add 1 bottle of Kosher white wine; usually a Chardonnay. I put in Long Grain and Wild Rice. Finally I fill to the top with Kosher Chicken Stock (unless you want to make your own Turkey Stock). Salt and Pepper to taste. Put up for at least 24 hours.

        2. This past week my wife requested I change my chulent. So I made a stew-like chulent and it went over very well. I put in

          -Barley
          -NO BEANS
          -Cut up carrot
          -2 potatoes
          - Stew meat
          - Regular chulent spices (paprika, garlic, black pepper)
          - Ketchup
          - Chopped onion

          4 Replies
          1. re: MaTi

            I have come to prefer a more contemporary, lighter cholent/hamim.

            choice of flanken or skinless, boneless chicken thighs (turkey would work)
            chopped or sliced onions
            diced tomatoes, fresh or a nice, salt-free brand like Pomi
            cumin - to taste
            red pepper flakes or dried red peppers - to taste

            that's all, just throw it in the pot, cook late on Friday, then set to keep warm

            It doesn't taste like cholent. Just tastes like meat or poultry in red sauce. Leave out the cumin if you don't like Moroccan spicing. Pre-cook a pot of rice or other grain, and set that on a warming tray when you head out to shul. It's an un-cholent.

            A nice side dish is to roast winter vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts, etc.) Lazy cook's method: roast veggies on heavy duty aluminum foil spread over a baking pan. cool. fold edges of fol in to form an envelope or sealed packet. Shove it into the fridge. On Saturday morning take it out and set oi on warming tray or blech as you leave for shul. No pans to scrub.

            (roast most winter veggies plain, or toss with olive oil. or toss with oil and hot red pepper or with sesame oil or with oil and curry powder. Lazy cooks use a plastic bag for tossing with oil, then throw the bag away.)

            1. re: AdinaA

              How much chopped tomatoes do you put in?

              1. re: avitrek

                A 26 oz box of Pomi tomatoes for 2 1/2 - 3 lbs boneless meat.

                1. re: AdinaA

                  Thanks. I may give your menu a try this week for lunch.

          2. Abba: you have blown my mind. You are the cholent master!