Perfectly Delicious: Shabbat Chamin Recipe

Hey there, foodies! I am Ehud, and today I am excited to share a recipe that is near and dear to my heart. This recipe has been in my family for generations and is a staple at every Shabbat dinner – the Shabbat Chamin or Cholent. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, Cholent is a savory slow-cooked stew that is enjoyed during the Jewish Sabbath meal, also known as Shabbat. This dish is a must-try for anyone who loves meat and potatoes.

As a chef, I always emphasize the importance of using fresh ingredients, and this recipe is no exception. By using fresh coarse ground black pepper, kosher salt, turmeric, garlic cloves, and more seasonings, we will bring out all the bold flavors of this hearty stew. Moreover, this recipe includes lima beans, kidney beans, lentils, barley, potatoes, onions and beef to bring out its deep and savory taste.

I want everyone to give this recipe a try because it’s not only delicious but also one steeped with history and culture. The origins of this dish date back centuries ago when families used to prepare it on Friday before sunset so that they could have a warm meal the next day during Shabbat. It was an affordable meal made from nourishing staples commonly available in most households.

Don’t worry if you’re not Jewish – this dish can be enjoyed by all. It’s the perfect comfort food to enjoy on any lazy weekend afternoon or when you want something warm and filling to share with your loved ones.

Are you ready to learn how to make the best Shabbat Chamin or Cholent? Keep reading!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Shabbat Chamin / Cholent (Meat and Potato Stew)
Shabbat Chamin / Cholent (Meat and Potato Stew)

Listen up, foodies! If you want a hearty and savory meal for your shabbat dinner, you’ve come to the right place. My recipe for Shabbat Chamin or Cholent is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

First of all, who doesn’t love a dish that cooks itself overnight? With just a few simple preparations and the help of your slow cooker or oven, you can have an incredibly delicious stew waiting for you in the morning.

But what’s really special about this cholent is the combination of potatoes, beans, and stew meat that creates a rich and satisfying flavor. With the addition of savory spices like black pepper, turmeric, and paprika, you’ll have a perfectly balanced taste that will leave your taste buds begging for more.

And let’s not forget about the history behind this recipe. Chamin or cholent has been a staple in Jewish cuisine for centuries. The dish has many different variations and goes by different names depending on the region it’s from. In fact, it’s also known as chamin dafina or skhina in some parts of the world.

Plus, this recipe is versatile. You can substitute ingredients to meet your dietary needs or preferences. Try using chicken instead of beef or adding some vegetables for a vegetarian version. The possibilities are endless!

Whether you’re hosting a shabbat dinner or looking for an easy weekday meal, my Shabbat Chamin/Cholent recipe is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients and get cooking!

Ingredient List

 A warm bowl of Chamin for the soul
A warm bowl of Chamin for the soul

Let’s talk ingredients! To make Shabbat Chamin/Cholent, we’re going to need an assortment of different types of beans, barley, eggs, potatoes, onion, and beef – specifically, cholent meat. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of ingredients used in this recipe; the combination of them all is what makes for such a savory and rich stew. Here’s a detailed list of what you’ll need:


  • 1 cup dried pinto beans
  • 1 cup dried kidney beans
  • 1 cup dried lima beans
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 cup barley
  • 6 eggs (optional)
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 lb beef cubed (use lean meat or chicken less acceptable substitute)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Fresh coarse ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 4 garlic cloves

Keep in mind that these ingredients can always be adjusted slightly to your preferences. It’s important to note that the type of beef used is specific to this recipe. Cholent meat is traditionally used in Hebrew cooking and comes from the front part of the animal where the muscles are used often. Marrow bones are sometimes added as well for added flavor. You can find cholent meat at most kosher butcher shops or online.

The Recipe How-To

 Slow cooked to perfection
Slow cooked to perfection

Now that we have gone through the ingredient list, it’s time to jump into the recipe how-to. This slow cooked meat and potato stew is a classic recipe for Shabbat Chamin/Cholent that has been passed down over generations. Let’s dive into the cooking process.

The Cooking Process
Step 1: Prepping the Ingredients

Start by rinsing 1 cup of barley, 1/2 cup of dried pinto beans, 1/2 cup of dried kidney beans, 1/2 cup of dried lima beans and 1/2 cup of lentils. Soak them in water overnight.

Cut 2 peeled potatoes into large chunks and chop 1 onion. Cut 2 lbs of beef (chuck or short ribs) into 1 ½ inch chunks. Season with a tablespoon each of kosher salt and fresh coarse ground black pepper.

In a separate bowl, whisk together spices: 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of turmeric, 1 teaspoon each of hot paprika and sweet paprika, ½ teaspoon each of cayenne and garlic powder.

Step 2: Assembling the Cholent

Use a slow cooker for this recipe. Grease the bottom with oil or non-stick spray.

Layer your ingredients in this order: soaked beans on the bottom, followed by the beef. Sprinkle half the onion over the beef, followed by half the potato chunks. Season with half of the spice mixture. Add another layer of beans, then onions, then potatoes. Finally, sprinkle on the rest of the spice blend.

Add water until it covers all ingredients completely.

Step 3: Slow Cooking

Set your slow cooker to low heat setting and let it cook overnight for approximately 8-10 hours, or until all ingredients are tender.

By morning, you will have a warmly delicious savory slow cooked stew! Pro-tip: This cholent recipe also works perfectly on low heat on stove-top, but don’t forget to check occasionally to make sure it has enough water.

Ready to Serve!

Serve hot with bread or challah to sop up all that gravy goodness!

Substitutions and Variations

If you want to make this dish vegetarian, you can skip adding any meat altogether or substitute it for marrow bones instead! Lentils and mushrooms make great vegetable alternatives for protein in this dish. Additionally, Jamie Geller suggests swapping out beef chuck for chicken thighs for another variation.

There you have it- my easy-to-follow recipe for Shabbat Chamin/Cholent aka ‘Shabbat Fina’ aka ‘dafina skhina’. Always remember to adjust seasoning according to your taste buds- cooking is an art form after all!

Substitutions and Variations

 Rustic comfort food in a pot
Rustic comfort food in a pot

Looking to switch things up? There are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to this classic Chamin / Cholent (Meat and Potato Stew) recipe.

First, let’s talk the meat. While beef is the traditional choice, you can also use other meats such as chicken or lamb. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the type of meat chosen. Vegetarians can also enjoy this hearty dish by swapping meat for veggies like mushrooms, eggplant, or portobello caps.

If you don’t have all of the beans listed in our ingredient list, don’t sweat it! You can mix and match based on what you have available. Some people prefer to leave out the lentils or lima beans, but we encourage experimenting with different bean combinations to find your perfect blend.

For those who prefer a sweeter flavor profile, shredded carrots and honey are great additions that will add a touch of sweetness to the dish without overpowering it. If you’re feeling spicy, try adding chili powder, jalapeño pepper or hot sauce for a little heat.

Finally, for a fun twist on presentation, try baking mini cholent loaves in muffin tins instead of making one large pot. Whether you decide to switch up the ingredients or shake up your presentation, there are plenty of ways to put your own spin on this timeless dish without sacrificing its delicious flavor. Experiment with different variations until you find your perfect bowl of Chamin / Cholent stew!

Serving and Pairing

 Hearty Meat and Potato Stew for any occasion
Hearty Meat and Potato Stew for any occasion

Ah, my mouth is already watering just thinking about serving up this hearty and savory slow-cooked stew for Shabbat dinner. The meat and potato stew, also known as Shabbat Chamin or Cholent, is perfect for those chilly winter nights when you’re looking for a warm and filling dinner that will leave everyone feeling satisfied.

When it comes to serving, I usually recommend pairing the stew with some fresh challah bread or crusty sourdough bread to sop up all that delicious sauce. You can also serve it with a simple green salad to cut through the richness of the stew.

If you really want to impress your guests, try serving the cholent atop a bed of fluffy couscous or fragrant saffron rice. The combination of textures and flavors is truly unbeatable.

And of course, no Shabbat meal is complete without some wine. For this rich and savory stew, I recommend going with a bold red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. It will complement the meaty flavors perfectly and add some depth to the meal.

So go ahead and make a big pot of this classic cholent dish – it’s sure to be a hit at your next Shabbat dinner!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Discover the flavors of Jewish tradition
Discover the flavors of Jewish tradition

I have to tell you, this Shabbat Chamin recipe is the gift that keeps on giving! Not only is it easily adaptable and open to variations, but it’s also a dish that you can make ahead of time, store and reheat without any loss in quality. The beauty of this slow-cooked stew is that the flavors are even better the next day – or the next week!

To make-ahead, prep your ingredients as usual and put them in your slow cooker in the morning to enjoy later that evening. You can even let it go overnight and wake up to a hot, comforting bowl full of goodness. Once it’s cooked, let it cool down to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This meat-and-potato stew lasts up to 5 days without losing flavor – talk about leftovers for days!

To reheat, gently warm-up over low heat in a pot with some water and stir occasionally. You can also use your microwave or oven as long as you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t dry out. The key here is not to boil the Chamin or heat it too quickly as this will ruin the texture of the beef and potatoes.

If you want to freeze your Chamin instead of keeping it in the fridge, separate portions before freezing so that they’re easy to reheat later. This way, you won’t have to worry about wasting any leftovers and can defrost only what you need.

A word of advice: don’t be afraid to experiment by adding different ingredients each time you make this savory slow-cooked stew recipe. You’ll never get tired of eating Shabbat Chamin – I promise!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Shabbat dinner staple for generations
Shabbat dinner staple for generations

Let me tell you, making the perfect Shabbat Chamin or Cholent takes finesse. It’s a savory and slow-cooked stew that requires some serious love and attention. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back with these tips for perfect results.

First things first, make sure to use fresh and high-quality ingredients. This will make all the difference in flavor and texture.

When it comes to seasoning, I recommend being generous with the kosher salt, fresh coarse ground black pepper, brown sugar, turmeric, hot paprika, cayenne, and sweet paprika. These spices are what give the dish its signature deliciousness.

Next up is the meat. For this stew, I suggest using beef cholent meat or beef short ribs. If you’re looking for a substitute, lean chicken or even vegetarian recipes can work but will affect consistency.

To ensure you get the right texture for those delicious potatoes, cut them into large chunks rather than small pieces. The same goes for the onions; it’s better to chop them into larger pieces as they will cook down throughout the night.

Lastly, I want to remind you that this dish cooks overnight; it’s important to check on it periodically and make sure it’s not getting too dry or overcooked. Add more water if necessary and stir occasionally.

Follow these tips for perfect results and your Shabbat Chamin/Cholent will be a hit at any mealtime.


Before you get started making this delicious Shabbat Chamin / Cholent recipe, let’s answer some frequently asked questions that might help you along your way. From cooking time to ingredient substitutions, here are some of the most common inquiries about this savory slow-cooked stew.

What meat is best for cholent?

When it comes to making a mouth-watering cholent, the stars of the show are the meats you choose. For the best results, select meats that are soft and fatty, such as beef shin and spare ribs (flanken). For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding some marrow bones to the mix. Another delicious addition is pastrami, which brings a unique taste to the dish. And for a truly indulgent experience, try including cheek meat, which becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender if you cook it slow and low.

What is Sephardic cholent called?

Hamin, also known as Hamim, Chamim or Chamin, is a popular Israeli dish that originated from the Hebrew word “hot”. This Sephardic version of cholent is usually made with chicken instead of meat and often includes eggs. It is a well-known and beloved dish throughout Israel.

What is cholent in hebrew?

The dish known as Hamin has its roots in Iberia and is considered the predecessor to the popular Jewish dish, cholent. The word Hamin translates to “hot” in Hebrew and is believed to have been transformed into a shabbat stew known as Harisa. In some regions, this hearty stew was referred to as “trasnochado,” which simply means “overnighted” in Spanish, but was made using the same ingredients.

Can you overcook cholent?

Cholent, an Ashkenazi dish, often gets criticism for its appearance, texture, and strong flavors. Despite its negative reputation, many still stand by the dish. However, there are ways to make cholent enjoyable and delicious without compromising its traditional qualities.

Bottom Line

So there you have it, my friends! My savory, slow-cooked Shabbat Chamin / Cholent recipe that is sure to be a hit at your next gathering. With its hearty mix of potatoes, beans, and tender beef, this stew is the perfect comfort food for those chilly winter nights. And with a little preparation, you can enjoy this dish all week long!

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of the recipe – try adding different spices or vegetables to make it your own. You can even make a vegetarian version by swapping the meat for mushrooms, eggplant or tofu.

Whether you’re an experienced chef or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress. So give it a try and taste the tradition that has been passed down through generations. And who knows? Maybe one day your own family will be enjoying your cherished version of Shabbat Chamin / Cholent.

Thank you for reading and happy cooking!

Shabbat Chamin / Cholent (Meat and Potato Stew)

Shabbat Chamin / Cholent (Meat and Potato Stew) Recipe

This is one of the most forgiving recipes you will find. It's hard to go wrong here. Observant Jews cannot cook on the Sabbath, and yet it has always been tradition to serve a hot meal on Saturday after returning from Synagogue. This is the heart of Jewish cooking - no finesse, no mess, no fanciness. Just a hearty meal that is economical, delicious, and will keep you full for an entire day! Enjoy!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jewish
Calories 1027.4 kcal


  • 1 -2 lb beef, cubed (do not use lean meat, chicken is a less acceptable substitute)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled (cut into halves only if extremely large, otherwise whole)
  • 6 eggs, in shell
  • 2 2 cups dried cranberry beans (not canned) or 2 cups lentils (not canned)
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 15 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika or 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 4 tablespoons instant chicken-style consomme soup and seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper


  • kishke, wrapped in foil (also called stuffed derma)


  • Combine all ingredient in a large crock pot (eggs on top), and add water to cover 1-2 inches above.
  • Cook on high for 2 hours, then reduce heat to low, and continue to cook overnight and into the daytime, for a total cooking time of approximately 12-14 hours (It will be ready to eat before 12 hours of cooking time, but tastes the best when cooked for a very long time)
  • Note: You can increase or decrease the amount of spices as per your liking. You can even add a dash of ginger and allspice. Avoid the urge to stir this - your potatoes will break into a mush.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 441gCalories: 1027.4kcalCarbohydrates: 90.5gProtein: 32.6gFat: 60gSaturated Fat: 24.2gCholesterol: 260.9mgSodium: 503.8mgFiber: 17.4gSugar: 5.5g
Keyword African, Asian, Beans, Beginner Cook, Easy, European, Kosher, Meat, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, One-Dish Meal, Stew
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