Cholent (meat stew with pulses and potatoes)

The Jewish Princesses and John Torode cook their stew for over eight hours to make a hearty meat dish packed with beans and chunks of potato
By John Torode
Cholent (meat stew with pulses and potatoes)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 kg stewing beef, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 6 onions, sliced
  • 175 g pearl barley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 235 g canned cannellini beans
  • 235 g tinned butter beans
  • 235 g canned borlotti beans
  • 350 g tomato passata, (or 400g tin of chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 large pinches black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 3 carrots, peeled, topped and tailed
  • 2 eggs

Tips and Suggestions

this stew is traditionally made on a Friday afternoon (before the Sabbath) and eaten after synagogue the next day. Children often fight over the eggs!


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. Place all the ingredients in a large, heavy, ovenproof dish with the beef in the centre, the potatoes around the beef and the eggs on top, still in their shells

3. Pour in enough water to cover all the ingredients, then cover and cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour.

4. Reduce the heat to 150C/gas 2 and leave in the oven for the next 7 hours - if you wish to leave the dish for even longer, simply turn the heat down more.

5. Shell the eggs before serving, discard the shells and garnish the stew with the shelled eggs. Serve.

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