The names and variations of this classic Jewish dish are infinite, although it is most commonly known as cholent (Yiddish) or hamin (Hebrew). Given the restrictions of the Sabbath, this is often eaten for lunch on Saturday, as it can be prepared before sundown on Friday and left to simmer overnight. The basic ingredients are meat, potatoes, beans and barley.






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (10 votes)


  • 310 ml (1¼ cups) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250 g minced beef
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika (see Note)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 kg beef short ribs
  • 2 eschalots, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 L beef stock
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 bunch silverbeet, finely shredded
  • 400 g canned cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
  • couscous, to serve (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink match 2011 Lark Hill Pinot Noir, Canberra District, ACT ($30)

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and one-third of the garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until softened. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl and cool slightly. Wipe pan clean and reserve. Add minced beef, cumin, herbs, paprika and egg white to onion mixture, season with salt and pepper, and mix well to combine. Roll beef mixture into walnut-sized balls.

Add 1 tbsp oil to reserved pan. Working in batches, cook meatballs, over medium heat, turning, for 4 minutes or until browned all over. Set aside. Oil pan between batches, if required. Wipe pan clean.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in same pan over high heat. Season beef short ribs and cook for 2 minutes each side or until well browned. Remove and set aside. Add eschalots and remaining garlic to pan and cook for 2 minutes or until light golden. Return ribs to pan with beef stock and cinnamon, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, then cover and cook for 1 hour or until ribs are tender.

Meanwhile, place half the silverbeet in a large, non-stick frying pan and heat over high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 8 minutes or until any liquid from silverbeet has evaporated. Add remaining 250 ml oil, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until very dark. Drain silverbeet in a colander, reserving 2 tbsp oil.

Add meatballs to rib mixture and cook for 7 minutes or until cooked through. Add remaining silverbeet and beans, and cook for 1 minute or until silverbeet is just tender. Drizzle reserved oil over fried silverbeet, tossing to combine. Serve beef short rib and meatball soup topped with fried silverbeet and couscous on the side, if desired.

• Sweet smoked paprika is from delis and specialist food shops.


Photography by Derek Swalwell