How to Make Mouthwatering Beef Stew at Home

Are you looking for a hearty and savory dish that will fill your home with irresistible aromas while it cooks? Then look no further than my slow-cooker beef stew, also known as cholent. This dish is perfect for cold days when you want something cozy and comforting to warm you from the inside out.

As an Israeli chef, I have spent years perfecting this recipe, and I am excited to share it with you. Whether you’re a meat-lover or a vegetarian, my cholent recipe can be customized to fit your dietary preferences. And the best part? You can simply toss everything into your crock-pot and let it do all of the work for you.

Throughout this article, I will guide you through the process of making the perfect beef stew cholent using wholesome ingredients like sweet potatoes, barley, and beans. So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and let’s get started on this delicious and nourishing meal that will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Beef Stew/ Cholent for Crock Pot
Beef Stew/ Cholent for Crock Pot

If you’re looking for a delicious and hearty meal that takes minimal effort to cook, look no further than my recipe for Beef Stew/Cholent for Crock Pot. This slow-cooked stew is perfect for those cold winter nights or when you simply want something comforting to come home to after a long day at work.

What makes this recipe so great is its versatility. Whether you’re a meat-lover, vegetarian, or gluten-free, this recipe can be tweaked to fit your dietary needs. For instance, if you’re following a vegetarian diet, simply omit the meat and add in some extra vegetables like carrots or celery. You can even make it gluten-free by using quinoa instead of barley.

Not only is this Beef Stew/Cholent recipe easy to customize, but the flavors will leave you craving more. The combination of paprika, onions, and sweet potatoes gives the dish a subtle sweetness that is perfectly balanced with the heartiness of the beef stew meat and barley.

The beauty of this recipe also lies in its cooking method – slow cooking is key. The low and slow cook time allows all the flavors to meld together and creates a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Plus, using a crock pot means there’s minimal cleanup involved, making it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.

So whether you’re looking for an easy dinner option or hosting friends and family for Shabbat lunch, this Beef Stew/Cholent for Crock Pot recipe is sure to impress. With its customizable options, rich flavors, and low-maintenance cooking technique, it’s no wonder why this recipe has been a staple in Jewish households for generations.

Ingredient List

 A warm and hearty bowl of beef stew/cholent perfect for cozy evenings
A warm and hearty bowl of beef stew/cholent perfect for cozy evenings

Here are the ingredients for this delicious and hearty stew/cholent recipe that your family will love:

  • 2 lbs. stew meat, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup barley, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup dried beans (such as kidney or navy), soaked overnight and drained
  • 8 cups water or beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: marrow bones for extra flavor

For a gluten-free version, use a different type of grain like quinoa or rice.

Note: You will need a slow cooker, also known as a crock pot, for this recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to dive into a rich and flavorful dish
Get ready to dive into a rich and flavorful dish

Step 1: Soak the beans

To begin, soak “2 1/2 cups of beans and barley” in water and let it sit overnight. This step helps to soften the beans and significantly reduce cooking time. If you don’t have enough time to soak overnight, use the quick soak method – boil the beans in water for 2-3 minutes, remove from heat, cover them and let sit for one hour.

Step 2: Sauté and sear

In the morning, start by heating some “olive oil” in a skillet over medium heat. Then, add “2 sliced onions” to sauté until they are soft and slightly browned. Next, add “2 pounds of stew meat” and brown on all sides. After that, sprinkle with some “paprika”, giving it a good stir.

Step 3: Assemble in Slow Cooker or Crock Pot

Rub some olive oil on the bottom of your slow cooker or crock pot. Once that’s done, place a layer of “sweet potatoes at the bottom”, followed by half of the soaked beans and barley mixture. Then, add half of the onion-meat mixture on top of that. Repeat this process again – layering sweet potatoes, beans and barley mixture, and the onion-meat mixture until you’ve added everything into the slow cooker.

Step 4: Add broth and cook

Add enough water or broth to cover everything by a few inches. I like to use “marrow bones or beef broth“. Give everything a good stir to ensure everything is mixed properly.

Turn your slow cooker on low and let it cook for at least 15 hours while resisting check and stirring- trust me on this one! The wait is worth it as this recipe will produce deeply flavorful slow-cooked stew perfection.

Step 5: Skim Fat

When it’s done cooking, skim excess fat off the top of your cholent with a spoon or ladle.

It’s now ready to be served! This beef stew cholent recipe for crock pot is perfect for people who crave comforting food without much fuss in preparation since all you have to do is assemble then let your crock pot do all of the work!

Substitutions and Variations

 Slow-cooked to perfection, this comforting stew is worth the wait
Slow-cooked to perfection, this comforting stew is worth the wait

If you’re someone who loves to experiment with ingredients, this section is for you! Here are some substitutions and variations you can try to make your beef stew/cholent even more delicious and exciting!

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of beef, you can turn this recipe into a vegetarian chorlent by simply omitting the meat and putting in more vegetables instead. You can bulk up the stew with more root vegetables like parsnips and carrots. You can also add bell peppers and zucchinis to offer more texture variety.

If gluten-free cookery is a must for you or one of your guests, then opt out the barley in the recipe entirely. Instead, replace it with gluten-free grains like quinoa or millet. This swap will give your cholent a new taste dimension and nutritional value that can’t be missed.

For those who love experimenting with spices, try adding turmeric or cumin to the recipe along with paprika. These flavorful spices will give your cholent a dynamic flavor boost.

If you’re trying to watch your fat intake, replace stew meat with leaner proteins like turkey or chicken. It won’t have the same depth of flavor as beef but it’ll still make for a tasty meal.

Lastly, If you want more complexity in your finished product, slow-cook the marrow bones with the potatoes at the bottom of your slow cooker before adding in other ingredients on top. This technique will lend an umami-rich taste to your beans and barley – just add a sprinkle of kosher salt at the end.

Keep in mind that these tweaks are only suggestions; there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to creativity in cooking. Experiment away, have fun with these variations and see what tickles your taste buds most!

Serving and Pairing

 Tender chunks of beef and vegetables drenched in a luscious sauce
Tender chunks of beef and vegetables drenched in a luscious sauce

One of my favorite things about this beef stew/ cholent recipe is how versatile it is in terms of serving and pairing options. Depending on your preferences, you can enjoy it as a hearty main dish or pair it with a side of crusty bread to make a complete meal.

If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, this recipe is perfect for you. Serve it up with some brown rice or quinoa to soak up all of the delicious flavors. Alternatively, you can enjoy this stew on its own as a comforting dish during cold winter evenings.

For those who prefer some greens on their plate, serve this beef stew/ cholent recipe alongside a crisp mixed green salad or lightly steamed veggies. The combination of the warm, savory stew and fresh produce will make for a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

Finally, if you’re serving this to company or as part of a larger spread, consider pairing it with some stuffed cabbage rolls for an authentic Israeli feast. The flavors of these two dishes complement each other perfectly and create a meal that is sure to impress.

No matter how you choose to serve this beef stew/ cholent recipe, one thing is certain – your taste buds will thank you!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A one-pot meal that hits all the right spots
A one-pot meal that hits all the right spots

Whether you’re prepping for a busy week or hosting a big event, this slow-cooked beef stew cholent is the perfect make-ahead dish to satisfy hungry guests. Once cooked, let it sit overnight in the refrigerator, which can actually enhance the flavors and tenderness of the meat.

To store your stew cholent, just cool it down completely before covering and storing in the fridge or freezer. Keep in mind that while potatoes and carrots are best eaten fresh, barley and beans will maintain their texture even after reheating, so feel free to store leftovers in a sealed container, and enjoy them throughout the week.

When you’re ready to reheat your stew cholent, using an oven or a microwave works equally well. However, if you choose to use a microwave, you may want to add some extra liquid to keep the consistency juicy and smooth.

For a delicious variation, stuff the leftover stew meat into cabbage leaves for a satisfying gluten-free twist on stuffed cabbage. This vegetarian cholent is equally delicious when using meat alternatives such as tofu or mushrooms as well.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate comfort food that will make you feel hugged from the inside
The ultimate comfort food that will make you feel hugged from the inside

Cooking a beef stew or cholent using a crockpot is rewarding and can be very easy, but there are some tips that I want to share with you to ensure perfect results every time.

Firstly, the key to the best cholent recipe is soaking the beans overnight in cold water. This will significantly reduce cooking time and enhance their texture. You should replace the water every few hours.

Secondly, I like to use meat on the bone such as marrow bones or stew meat because it adds a lot of flavor to the cholent. Plus, when slow cooked, bone-in meat becomes incredibly tender and rich.

Another tip is adding sweet potatoes to the mix. They are a great addition as they add natural sweetness that balances out the overall flavors in the beef stew cholent recipe.

I also recommend using paprika for its smoky and slightly spicy taste. Don’t be shy with it!

When preparing for 2-4 people, you should use a smaller size crockpot. A larger size may require additional liquid which might impact your final dish’s thickness.

During cooking, make sure that your cholent cooks at low heat and gets enough time to cook thoroughly; typically 15 hours for best results.

To prevent burning, place potatoes at the bottom of the slow cooker before stacking up more ingredients on top of them.

Finally, adding a little bit of oil before starting to cook prevents some sticking issues and improves browning.

By using these tips, you can produce consistently excellent beef stew or vegetarian cholents regardless of any modifications you make to dial in your recipe preferences.


As with any recipe, there may be some common questions that arise while preparing the dish. To help you clear up any uncertainties or glitches, I have compiled a list of some frequently asked questions and answers related to this beef stew/cholent for crock-pot recipe. Read on to get all the information and tips you need to make your beef stew/cholent for crock-pot a success!

What meat is best for cholent?

When it comes to choosing your meats for cholent, it’s best to go for those that are fatty and tender. This includes cuts like beef shin or spare ribs, which are also known as flanken, and the addition of marrow bones will bring a rich flavor to your dish. Another option is to incorporate pastrami, which will add a unique burst of flavor. Slow-cooking cheek meat is another great way to create a melt-in-your-mouth effect.

Do you have to brown stew meat before putting it in the crock pot?

According to Ehud, the process of caramelizing or browning meat prior to placing it into a slow cooker isn’t a mandatory step. However, it should be considered as it can significantly enhance the dish’s richness and flavor. He advises that by achieving a caramelized texture on the meat’s surface, it will create a more full-bodied and deeply colored finished product.

Is it better to cook stew on low or high in slow cooker?

For the perfect outcome of our delicious stew, I recommend covering it and letting it cook on low for a good 7-8 hours. Keep in mind that the longer it simmers, the more succulent and delectable it will be.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this beef stew/cholent crock pot recipe is an absolute must-try for anyone who loves flavorful, hearty meals that practically cook themselves. With the right ingredients and a little bit of patience, you can create a truly delicious and satisfying dish that both meat-lovers and vegetarians will adore.

By following the step-by-step instructions in this article, you’ll be able to create a mouth-watering meal that’s full of nutrients, protein and fiber. Just remember to soak your beans overnight, pre-slice your sweet potatoes and onions, and let the slow cooker do its magic for 15 hours on low heat!

Plus, if you follow our helpful tips and recommended substitutions, you can tailor the recipe to your specific tastes and dietary needs. Whether you want to add gluten-free or vegetarian options, or even experiment with different spices like paprika or cumin, there’s no wrong way to make this dish.

So don’t hesitate – get out your crock pot or slow cooker today and start preparing this amazing beef stew/cholent recipe. Your taste buds will thank you!

Beef Stew/ Cholent for Crock Pot

Beef Stew/ Cholent for Crock Pot Recipe

I worked on my stew recipe for several years before I perfected it to what it is today! Every time I serve this for Shabbat lunch, it's completely devoured. It's ultra simple and always comes out great. If you're making this for shabbos, cook it fully Friday afternoon and keep the crockpot on the "warm" setting until serving. You can also make the recipe by substituting one can of chicken stock with a can of beer.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jewish
Calories 648.1 kcal


  • 1 -2 lb stew meat
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 3/4-1 cup barley
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  • Slice up onions and sautee in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent
  • Cut up the sweet potatoes into medium sized chunks and place in crock pot.
  • Put the barley, chicken stock, stew meat, and onions into the crock pot.
  • Add the garlic salt and paprika.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 342gCalories: 648.1kcalCarbohydrates: 57.9gProtein: 32.2gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 10.6gCholesterol: 82.1mgSodium: 417.1mgFiber: 9.8gSugar: 10g
Keyword Beginner Cook, Easy, European, Grains, Kosher, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Potato, Stew, Vegetable, Yam/Sweet Potato
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You