Monday, January 26, 2009

Homegrown Cholent

So many methods of making pot roast are disappointing. The meat too often comes out of the oven dry and tough. I've settled on traditional Jewish cholent as our preferred method of cooking a piece of beef shoulder for a long time, braising it in a heavy pot with beans and barley.

The result is something much more than pot roast, a gooey unctuous stew that goes straight to the soul and lifts the spirits on a cold winters night.

Traditionally, Jewish cholent was placed in a low oven just before sundown preceding the sabbath so there would be a warm, hearty lunch to serve the following day, when cooking was forbidden. I don't cook mine nearly as long--only five hours.

Last night we had friends over to help us eat a big pot of cholent made with chuck roast from our dairy--South Mountain Creamery--as well as cranberry beans from our own garden. On the side were roasted carrots and parsnips pulled in the morning from the soil where they are overwintering. They are even more sweet and delicious having been touched by the cold. For dessert, my wife served an intoxicating, flourless clementine cake.

Proof again that the simplest foods are the most satisfying.


JGH said...

I've been making pot roast with brisket in the crock pot with a "cowboy mop sauce" that is ketchup, worchestershire, vinegar, molasses, mustard, coffee, veg. oil. After it's cooked for awhile I put the veggies underneath. Love the idea of adding beans. I'll put in a little more liquid and try that - and maybe with a blade roast instead.

JeanAnnVK said...

I love your blog and am so glad I found it! Yea for slow food! Of course, i am better at it some nights than others...generally, it is directly proportional to the amount of kid wrangling I had to do...