Recipe submitted by Barbara Greenberg

This recipe has been in my family for many years. My grandmother passed it to my mother, and my mother passed it to me, and we are delighted to pass it to the Central Synagogue community. Frequently we went to my grandparents for Friday night dinner. My grandmother would bless the candles and my grandfather would bless the wine and challah. The dinner began with chicken soup, and the main course was almost always the same: cholent, or Shabbos Stew, sometimes served with apple sauce or fruit compote. Dessert was poppy seed cookies, sponge cake or apple slab. One Friday evening I asked my grandma why we always had the same Friday night dinner. She said, “A Shabbos without cholent is like a king without a throne.”

Number of Sevings: 6-8


3 pounds flanken or short ribs

1 teaspoon each salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika

2 tablespoons shmaltz (chicken fat) or vegetable oil

2 cups coarsely chopped onions

2 teaspoons minced garlic

Water for cooking

1 cup dried baby lima beans, soaked overnight in 3 cups of water, then drained

1 cup barley

1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into halves or quarters

Special Equipment:
6 quart pot with tightly fitting cover


1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Season the meat generously with the salt, pepper, and paprika.

2. In a 6 quart pot, heat the chicken fat or oil. Brown the onions over moderate heat, stirring from time to time. Push the onions to the sides of the pot and brown the meat very well all over.

3. Sprinkle the garlic over the meat, add 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a gentle boil, cover the pot, and cook 1 hour.
Turn the meat over. Add the soaked, drained lima beans, the barley, potatoes, and another cup of water. Bring back to a boil, reduce to a gentle boil, and cover the pot, and cook for another hour. Turn the meat over again. Taste and correct the seasoning.

4. Cook for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour, until everything is very tender. The casserole will be moist, but most of the liquid will be absorbed. The cholent is ready to be served.