Wikipedia definition of cholent - Cholent (Yiddish: טשאָלנט, tsholnt or tshoolnt) or Hamin (Hebrew: חמין) is a traditional Jewish stew. It is usually simmered overnight for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on Shabbat (the Sabbath). Cholent was developed over the centuries to conform with Jewish laws that prohibit cooking on the Sabbath. The pot is brought to a boil on Friday before the Sabbath begins, and kept on a blech or hotplate, or placed in a low oven or electric slow cooker, until the following day
The slow cooked hearty flavors of a cholent that cooks for a long long time really enhances Shabbos. The smell permeates the house and the tender meat, soft potatoes, and spices come together to make for the perfect heart warming shabbos dish.
I know that a lot of people put all different spices, sauces, and even beer in their cholent and that's fine and delicious in its own right, but I grew up eating simply flavored cholent and that's really the way I like it.
My mother makes stovetop cholent, it's made in a heavy bottomed pot and is kept over a low flame the whole shabbos. I love my mother's cholent, but when I moved to Israel (along with my brother and sister in law) I grew accustomed to my sister in law's cholent which is made in a crock pot so that's how I make it and it's (almost) as delicious as my mother's. a
Feel free to add other things to this basic recipe, but trust me it's pretty great just like this.
Try to put your cholent up first thing Friday morning because the longer it cooks the better it tastes. You can even prep everything in the crockpot on Thursday put it in the fridge and then on Friday morning add the water and cook it on low until lunch time on Shabbos.
I put my meat into the crockpot frozen and when it's ready to serve I shred the meat into large chunks.
The amount of water varies on size of the crockpot, you want to add enough water that all the ingredients are just covered. I check my cholent before I go to sleep on Friday night and if it looks a little dry I add some boiling water from the urn.
Non stick cooking spray
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 heaping Tbs paprika
1 tsp onion powder
4 oz. piece of pastrami
12 oz. piece of flanken
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into about 2 inch pieces
1 large onion, peeled cut into chunks
3/4 cup barley
1/4 white beans
1/4 cup kidney beans
Water - the amount varies on the size of the crockpot
Spray the the pot of a slow cooker (crockpot) liberally with non-stick spray this ensures that the cholent doesn't stick and makes for easy cleanup.
Sprinkle in the spices to cover the bottom of the pot
Place the meats, potatoes, onion, and beans in the crockpot. Pour water into the pot until it just covers all of the ingredients.
Set your crockpot to low
Place a piece of foil on the pot and then the lid - this makes a better seal than the cover along and keeps all the moisture inside the pot.
Cover and let it cook until lunch on Shabbos day
Gut Shabbos and Shabbat Shalom!