For many Ashkenazi Jewish families, cholent is a Shabbat staple. Its low and slow cooking method means that this stew can be assembled before Shabbat begins on Friday evening and eaten, hot, for lunch on Saturday, without breaking the prohibition of cooking on Shabbat.
Cholent is traditionally made with tough, fatty cuts of beef, like flanken, shin or spareribs, which become tender as they are slow cooked. Potatoes, grains and beans are added for a hearty, one-pot, Shabbat-worthy dish.
My grandmother made cholent during the cold Canadian winter months, and it was a family favorite. Unlike hers, my version is vegan, made with a trio of beans and chewy barley. Follow the method below for a faster result, or simply add all the ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low overnight, if you prefer. It’s sure to keep you warm and cozy this winter.
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 2 Tbsp sweet paprika
- 1/3 cup barley
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup canned red beans
- 1 cup canned white beans
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion, carrots, garlic and potato. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.
- Add the paprika, stirring to combine. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the barley, tomatoes, broth, bay leaf and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 45 minutes, or until the barley is fully cooked. Keep an eye on the water level, adding 1/2 cup of broth, as needed.
- Add the beans and chickpeas, stirring to combine. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
- Serve with fresh parsley.