Jewish Beef Stew (Cholent)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


The recipe for this slow-cooked dish of beans, brisket, and vegetables was inspired by one that Andras Singer serves at Fulemule, his restaurant in Budapest.


  • 12 lb. dried lima beans
  • 12 lb. dried kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp. schmaltz (chicken or goose fat) or canola oil
  • 1 (2-lb.) piece trimmed beef brisket
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 lb. beef marrow bones (optional)
  • 2 cups roughly chopped whole peeled canned tomatoes
  • 12 cup pearl barley
  • 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 4 whole eggs (optional)
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • Flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


Step 1

Put beans into a 4-qt. saucepan and cover with 2" water. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Skim any scum from surface and drain beans; set aside.

Step 2

Heat oven to 325°. Heat schmaltz in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season brisket with salt and pepper; add to pot and cook, turning, until well browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate. Add garlic, onions, and paprika to pot and cook, stirring, until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved beans, the beef, marrow bones, tomatoes, barley, potatoes, eggs (in the shell), parsnips, carrots, and 8 cups water to cover; season with salt and pepper and bring liquid to a simmer. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Bake until beef is tender, about 2 1⁄2 hours. To serve, transfer beef to a cutting board and cut into pieces. Remove eggs; peel and chop. Divide beef and eggs between 6 serving bowls and spoon stew into bowls. Garnish with parsley.

Pairing note: Smoky Lioco Indica 2008 from Mendocino ($20) complements the spicy, earthy flavors of this dish.

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