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Cholent and Kishke

Introduction & method

Traditionally, cholent would be prepared by Jewish families as a meal for the Shabbat. Since doing any work, or cooking, or even lighting a fire are prohibited from sunset the previous day, cholent would be made and left in a very low oven overnight, ready to eat after worship the next day. It consists of beef brisket and beans, and is served with a kind of vegetable sausage called kishke.

Cholent and Kishke Recipe

Prep the Beans

Soak the beans in water for 4 hours. Drain and rinse. Rinse the barley.

Prep the Veggies

Peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized chunks. Peel the onions and cut it into small pieces.

Assemble the Cholent

Place the potatoes in a single layer in the bottom of a casserole dish or crockpot/slow cooker. Arrange the onion in a layer on top of this. Now place your brisket on top of the onions, with your marrow bone(s) either side. Spread the beans over the top and the barley on top of that. Sprinkle with the seasoning and then pour the stock over everything. If the liquid level doesn't cover everything add more stock or water until it does. Place a lid on the pot.

Cook the Cholent

If you are using a slow cooker or crockpot, cook it for about 10 hours. Or in the oven, bake for 10 hours on very low heat. In both cases, check the liquid level a few hours before the end of cooking and top it up if required.

Make the Kishke Filling

Peel the onion and carrot. Chop the veggies into small dice. Peel the garlic cloves and crush 'em. Add the schmaltz to a small saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir in the veg and cook very gently for about 30 minutes until soft but not browned at all. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down. Stir in the matzo meal or breadcrumbs. Add the seasoning and stir well. Add just enough stock to make it form a thick paste. Use a stick blender or potato masher to break down the lumps of vegetable.

Make the Kishke Sausages

There are various ways to make the sausages. You can spoon the mixture into sausage casing - sheep, beef or collagen - leaving plenty of room for expansion. Or you can take a sheet of foil and overlay it with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Spoon a row of the mixture near the bottom edge of the paper, roll it up into a cylinder and twizzle the ends to seal it.

Cook the Kishke

Traditionally the kishke are cooked by placing them on top of the cholent for the last hour of cooking. If there's no room in your pot for that, you can cook them in a separate pan of simmering stock with a lid on for about an hour. Alternatively, if using the foil method, you can bake them for 45 minutes at 160° C (320° F) fan, 180° C (356 ° F) conventional, gas 4.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Cholent and Kishke on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 500 grams beef brisket
 2 marrow bones
 500 grams potato
 2 medium onions
 250 grams cannellini beans
 125 grams pearl barley
 1 litre beef stock
 1 tsp paprika
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 150 grams matzo meal or breadcrumbs
 120 grams schmaltz
 5-10 tbsp chicken stock
 1 medium onion
 1 large carrot
 2 sticks celery
 5 cloves garlic
 1½ tsp salt
 ½ tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp paprika


If you can't find matzo meal, you can pulverize matzo crackers in a blender. Or just use breadcrumbs. If you can't get schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) you can use goose fat.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 8 
Prep time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 10 hours.
Total time: 10 hours 30 minutes.