MODERN CHOLENT – BEEF, CARROT & FREEKEH STEW


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)
http://kosherfood.about.com/od/sabbathcooking/r/cholent_meat.htm
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.

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=256130808 – look this is a pound.

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

METHOD

  • 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!

http://www.ocado.com/webshop/getSearchProducts.do?clearTabs=yes&isFreshSearch=true&entry=freekeh

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