By Brenda Storch, Messianic Rebbetzin of The Tabernacle
Cholent is the traditional Sabbath lunch. Although this is not an authentic Eastern European Cholent because Eastern European Jews would not be using ingredients such as chickpeas or turkey (they didn't even know turkey existed until they emigrated to the US). Also spices such as turmeric, cumin and curry would be unheard of. This recipe is much more akin to the Middle Eastern version of this dish known as Hamin or Dafina. That being said, this recipe it is delicious and perfect for a made in advance Shabbat meal.
1 pound dried chick peas, soaked overnight
6 chicken thighs, or 2 turkey thighs
2 veal shoulder chops or 1 1/2 pounds veal stew
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground fenugreek
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds beef kielbasa or smoked bratwurst
1 cup matzo meal
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Skimmings from the cholent
Wash the chick peas, pick them over and soak overnight in cold water to cover by at least 2 inches.
Skin the chicken thighs. Trim and cut the chops into 2-inch chunks. Trim the meat of as much fat as possible. Set aside.
In a hot sauté pan, heat the olive oil, and brown the meat in batches. Brown the onions, then the garlic. Drain and place the chick peas, onions, and garlic in a Dutch oven. Stir in the spices and sugar. Add the veal and chicken. Add water to cover. Cook over low heat for 1 hour.
Skim off 2 tablespoons of fat and 1/2 cup of liquid from the cholent. Let this cool a little and mix it with the matzo meal and eggs. Form the dough into walnut sized balls and add to the pot. Add the carrots and sausage. Season the stew. Cook for 2 hours on the stovetop or place in a 225 degree F oven overnight. At any rate, it's much better the next day.
Cook’s Note: If fenugreek, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon cannot be found, substitute 2 tablespoons curry powder instead of those spices.