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Cholent  / Chamin / Shabbat Stew

Serves 8 to 10

This version uses beef. See below for other variations.

3 tbsp olive oil

2 large onions, chopped

½ head garlic, chopped

3 pound beef (choose a cut with some fat on it) – cut into 3” (7 cm) cubes

1 pound turkey necks (optional, but highly recommended)

5-6 potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size

¾ cup red beans, soaked overnight

¾ cup each of any or all wheat, buckwheat, rice, barley

1 carrot, finely shredded (if using rice)

1 cup dry red wine

salt  – ¾ tbsp + ½ tsp for each “grain bag”

paprika  – 1 tbsp + ½ tsp for each “grain bag”

3 allspice peppercorns

  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp oil and sauté onions and garlic until golden. Remove.
  2. In the same pot, brown meat in batches until sealed. Remove.
  3. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a crock pot or a large pot.
  4. Place each grain type into a separate bag, add ½ tsp each salt and paprika to each bag. (If using rice, mix in one finely shredded carrot).  Place the stuffed open bags into the pot (make sure the drawstrings are hanging over the rim).
  5. Layer onions and garlic, beans, beef and turkey necks, and potatoes.
  6. Add spices and wine.
  7. Pour boiling water into each one of the grain bags, then on top of other ingredients until completely covered.
  8. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook for about ½ hour. Leave to simmer, tightly covered, on low heat overnight.


Chicken – use 1 to 1½ cut-up chickens or 6-7 chicken legs instead of beef. When layering the ingredients, place the chicken on top. Otherwise, it will be decimated by the time you get to it.

Vegetarian – omit beef. Add one can of tomato sauce. A combination of several types of beans will make for a more interesting dish.



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