Insofar as lighting a fire and cooking are traditionally forbidden on Shabbat, the Sabbath dish of cholent has become a time-honored Jewish delicacy (Sephardim call it chamin or adafina). Cholent, a slow-cooked stew of beans and potatoes, is placed in a low-temperature oven before the Sabbath, and left to cook overnight and sometimes until the Shabbat afternoon meal. Whether we cook or not on Shabbat, cholent is a savory dish that makes Shabbat special. Here is a basic recipe:
Flanken cubed, or beef brisket whole, about 2 lbs.
Beef bones, optional
1 cup barley, optional
1-2 cups dried beans, white and brown, or whatever
3 large potatoes, cleaned and quartered, with peels
2 large onions, cut up
celery stalks, optional
2-3 cloves garlic, optional
4 or 5 eggs, optional.
Soak the beans overnight, and drain. Sauté onions (and celery and garlic if desired) in salt, pepper, paprika or in your favorite spices. Some people like to brown the beef in the bottom of another large pot, or you may just combine the beef with the bones, beans, barley and sautéed vegetables. Cover with water. If desired, bury eggs within the mixture. Put the pot, tightly covered, into the oven, at 200-250, and leave overnight. The water level may be checked the next day and replenished if the cholent appears to be drying out.
When ready to serve, remove the eggs, shell and quarter. If using brisket, remove it and slice. Serve eggs as an appetizer with vegetables and crackers, or as a side to the cholent and beef. Yields 6 to 7 generous servings.
— Rabbi Allen Darnov