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My Version

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (I use whole, mini potatoes, unpeeled)

2 medium onions, chopped

2½ pound boneless beef short ribs, cut in 1 1/2-inch chunks (I use bone-in short ribs)

2 marrow bones

Pepper, to taste

¾ cup pearl barley

6 cups (total) of various dry beans (like pinto beans, navy beans, cranberry beans,

chickpeas, northern beans, cannellini beans, etc. NOT pinto)

6 cloves of garlic

6 eggs (optional)

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1½ teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 kishke (optional)


For Kiske (kigel):

1 potato, grated

2 cups flour

2 tablespoon cornmeal

1/2 cup oil

1/4 cup water




  • In a large slow cooker (the larger the better!), place the potatoes in a single layer on the bottom of the cooking vessel.

  • Sprinkle the onions over the potatoes.

  • Place the beef in a single layer on top of the onions and potatoes. Place the two marrow bones in the meat. If you're adding a kishke, now would be the time to put it in the cooker.

  • Rinse the beans clean, checking for any stones or impurities. If using barley or kasha, do the same with the grains. Sprinkle the beans (raw or pre-soaked) and optional grains over the top of the meat. Place the three whole garlic cloves into the meat, evenly spaced. Sprinkle the whole mixture with the black pepper.

  • If using eggs, rinse them well and then tuck them into the meat. In a 4-cup container, whisk together the low sodium chicken broth, kosher salt, paprika, turmeric, cumin and cayenne.

  • Pour the liquid over the cholent. Add additional water until all of the beans and pieces of meat are covered. For us, it's usually another 1-2 cups of water in our slow cooker-- it will vary; I usually add a bit more liquid if using grains, because they will soak it up.

  • Cover the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 16 hours. Check occasionally as it's cooking; add additional water and stir a bit if it's looking too dry. Most cookers will auto-switch to warm when the cooking is complete. If yours doesn’t, set it to warm until ready to serve.

  • It will look a bit medieval when it's done cooking! Don't worry, just dig in and you'll see that it's perfectly cooked below the surface. Peel the eggs before serving the cholent.

  • To cook this recipe in the oven, layer the ingredients in a large heavy 7-8 quart Dutch oven. Make sure you have enough liquid to just cover all ingredients. Cover with lid and cook cholent at 200 degrees F for 12-16 hours.

For kigel:

Mix all ingredients

form two long rolls

wrap in cheesecloth or baking paper 

place on top of the cholent, to cook together 

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