From my late mother’s The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden, the cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist
Claudia Roden’s recipe is based on one by Shmulik and his wife Carmela, of Shmulik Cohen Restaurant in Tel Aviv, which has neither changed its location (where it started as a street kiosk) or menu since it was founded in 1936 by Shmulik’s grandfather. Love a family business.
This is the first time I have made cholent. What attracted me to this recipe were the marrow bones, a (cheap) nutritional powerhouse. Also, I could cook it for hours and it was ready to eat when I got home from the Biodynamic Land Trust’s Land Whispering training.
1kg (2lb) fatty beef – brisket, breast or rib
2 large onion sliced
1kg (2lb) peeled potatoes, whole if small, halved if big
100g (4oz) pearl barley (optional)
250g haricot or butter beans, soaked for one hour (or already cooked)
Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and add whole peeled garlic cloves and a peck of dried chilli.
In a large pot or casserole with a tightly fitted lid, brown the meat (in its own fat or in a tablespoon of oil). Remove it, and fry onions till soft. Return the meat to the pot, add the marrow bones, potatoes, barley and beans around it, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Cover with water and bring to the boil. Remove the scum with a large metal spoon, then put the lid on and leave in the lowest oven (225F, 110C, gas 1/4) overnight.
A traditional dish to break today’s fast. Am afraid I did not fast, but I did feast.
It is autumn and harvest time. Happy new year!