I love seasoning cholent with spices for their flavor and because they add lots of good-for-you compounds, but feel free to substitute, add more, or omit. Turmeric is a nutritional powerhouse and the smoked paprika adds a lovely smokiness to this classic comfort food. The cholent should cook for a minimum of 8 hours but can also be set before shabbat and eaten at lunch.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 8-10 PeopleServings
- 2 cups assorted beans and lentils
- 1 cup barley or oat groats
- 1 celery root, peeled and cubed
- 1 large (or 2 small) parsnip, peeled and cubed
- 1 large (or 2 small) carrots, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium potato, cubed (no need to peel)
- 1 large (or 2 small) sweet potato (no need to peel)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound beef stew meat (I like beef cheeks), preferably pasture raised
- 1 bay leaf
Soaking beans and grains: This step is optional, however, I highly recommend it. It makes beans and grains more digestible, it wakes up their dormant enzymes and helps eliminate most of the phytic acid they contain, allowing us to absorb better some of their fabulous nutrients. Lastly, soaking makes beans less heavy on the digestive tract.
1. Place the beans in a bowl and cover them with water completely and leaving some extra water (about 2 inches), as they expand. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Repeat for the barley (or oats) in a separate bowl. Cover and soak overnight.
2. Rinse and drain beans and barley and place them in a slow cooker.
3. Add all the vegetables, spices, and meat. Add water until it's leveled with the rest of the ingredients. Add bay leaf.
4. Cover and cook in low setting for about 8 hours.
5. Remove bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary.
Variations: adding some chipotle pepper, sun dried tomatoes, chili flakes, fresh thyme or substituting part of the water for coconut milk are all delicious. And if you find any interesting root vegetables, throw them in!