When I was younger, as a family we would regularly attend synagogue on Saturdays, and afterwards we would go over to friends whom were observant. They would always serve Cholent. So I hear you ask WHAT IS CHOLENT … a simple concise answer is: –

(The following website has provided the best answer)
Cholent is the quintessential Jewish food. Jewish law prohibits lighting fire and cooking on the Sabbath. So how can an observant Jewish family eat a hot, nourishing meal on the Sabbath? Cholent, a slow-cooked, bean-barley stew, has been the answer for centuries. Legumes are not only suited for slow cooking and nutritious; they are also economical. While today there are a great variety of ethnic-influenced cholent recipes, this recipe is for a traditional meat cholent.

Let’s face it Cholent is a braised beef stew, the Jewish way. It struck me recently that with some added spices and the use of the new super grain – trendier than quinoa – ‘Freekeh’ I would create my modern take on this Jewish comfort food classic.

If you’re not going to cook, this uber slow overnight – it will need a good 4-5 hours, and I recommend making a day in advance, so the flavour all marry together.

This is also incredibly cheap to prepare, and the Freekeh offers a wonderful earthy taste and is robust, you can’t overcook it.

Lastly, if you can’t be bothered to chop purchase one of those winter stew veg packs already chopped for you – just make sure they are not too small otherwise with an overnight cook they will turn to mush. – look this is a pound.


  • Olive oil
  • 500g stewing beef
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 Large Carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 Medium suede, peeled and diced
  • 2 Red Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 large star anise
  • 350 Chicken or Beef Stock
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 375ml red wine
  • 45g Freekeh
  • 1 bag of kale, chopped and determined
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • ! large bunch of freshly chopped parsley


  • Heat the oven to 150˚C/gas 2. Cut the beef into bite-sized chunks. Season the flour with salt and pepper and toss the meat in the flour to coat. Heat a little olive oil in a large cast-iron casserole over medium heat. Sear the beef briefly in two or three batches until browned all over, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Now add the garlic, onion, carrots, suede and celery into the pan and stir. stir over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften and all the spices. Pour in a touch of red wine to deglaze the pan.
  • Then add the tomato puree and cook stir well. Cook through for 5 minutes to remove any acidity.  Return the beef to the casserole and stir to immerse the meat in the liquid completely.
  • Now add the wine and boil until reduced by a third – it will become syrupy.
  • Now add the stock and Freekeh and stir.
  • Put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 4-5 hours or until the beef is very tender.
  • It can cook overnight on a lower-heat or on a stovetop, just remember to stir occasionally.
  • Just before serving add the kale and stir through, add the honey and stir through.
  • Check the seasoning, then scatter the chopped parsley over the stew.
  • PS Remember to try and find the star anise and remove before serving of warn your guests!

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