Gary’s Hungarian Cholent

Gary’s Hungarian Cholent

Cholent is a uniquely Jewish savory stew. There is no single way to make this hearty dish. Rather, the many variations of cholent are indicative of the diverse cultures and traditions of the Jewish diaspora. Sephardic Jews whose ancestors com from the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, & Tunisia) make cholent quite differently than Ashkenazi Jews from central and eastern Europe.

Since Jewish law prohibits cooking on Shabbat (the Sabbath), Cholent became a traditional Shabbat meal for observant Jews over the millennia.

My recipe is a bit eclectic and stems from my Hungarian roots, exposure to many types of cholent, love of cooking, and olive oil!

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
  • 1.5 lbs yams
  • 1 lb red potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 lbs flanken (Korean-style beef short ribs) (can use cheek meat instead (very Hungarian!))
  • 2 lbs beef marrow bones
  • 12 ozs pearled barley
  • 2 cans chickpeas (16 ounce can)
  • 1 can pinto beans (16 ounce can)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin )
  • 6-8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  1. Set crock pot to medium

  2. Place chopped onion and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a single layer on the bottom of the crock pot, Mix together and cook for 2-3 mins or until onions become slightly transparent, stirring occasionally so onions does not brown

  3. Add pressed garlic and mix together. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally so garlic does not brown

  4. Change crock pot setting to low

  5. Add yams and potatoes then mix together onion and garlic

  6. Add flanken and/or cheek meat in a single layer then place marrow bones on top of meat

  7. Strain beans and chick peas then add on top of meat

  8. Wash barley the add on top of meat

  9. Add salt, pepper, and paprika

  10. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil on top

  11. Pour vegetable broth over ingredients. Add additional broth until all ingredients are covered. During the cooking process, you will need to add approximately 8ozs of broth 2-3 times