Slow cooking is not a new phenomenon. Cholent, probably from the French word for slow cooking, is a traditional Jewish dish for holidays, simmered for hours for the Sabbath or holiday. The recipes are as varied as the chefs and countries of origin. The dish can be meat or vegetarian, filled with potatoes or beans, spicy or mild. I always make mine with wine and liqueur and to celebrate fall, I added butternut squash this time. You can use a crock pot or a heavy-duty pot, such as a cast iron casserole, and cook on a low heat for 5 hours to overnight. Cook in the oven or on the stove top or slow cooker. No matter the recipe, the ingredients simmer together, making all bites tender. Cholent is wonderful for the cooler weather, warming you up for a fall meal or a cool evening eating outside in the sukkah.
Richard Alan Schwartz's The Advocate
“We simply assert that women, as they are, are unfit to vote.”
New York Times. March 18, 1859
Dr. Abbey Kaplan thought after her work as surgeon in the Civil War, she would easily be accepted as a surgeon in hospitals. That was not the case. But as Abbey had fought to be accepted as a surgeon during the Civil War, so now she fought many battles to have her voice heard. She realized that unless she could vote, she could not confront the many problems she was encountering. Despite the editorializing of the NY Times, eventually they were proven wrong.
1 pound stew meat, cubed
1/4 cup Drambuie or another liqueur
1 teaspoon potato starch
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 large onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 potato, cut into 8ths
1 sweet bell pepper, red or orange, sliced
1 large zucchini, cut into chunks
2 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup broth
1/2 cup barley
1 teaspoon paprika
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Place cubed beef and Drambuie in a zip lock bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more.
Place butternut squash on a parchment lined pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400F until soft and slightly browned. Remove from oven and reserve.
Drain the beef and sprinkle the cubes with potato starch.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add the cubed beef in sections, browning them on all sides. Remove and reserve.
Add 1 additional teaspoon olive oil. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Add onions and garlic to slow cooker on high (crock pot).
Add more olive oil to skillet. Add potato and lightly brown. Remove and add to slow cooker. Add bell pepper, zucchini and carrots to slow cooker.
Add 1 teaspoon to skillet and add mushrooms in portions so that they are not crowded. Brown slightly. When done, add to slow cooker. Add prunes. Place beef on top.
Pour the wine and broth over the beef. Add thyme, pepper and turmeric. Cover.
Let cook for 1 hour. Lower temperature to low and cook for 5 hours. Check every hour to make sure there is enough liquid. Taste to make sure beef and vegetables are tender. Season to taste.
Make it vegetarian: Omit beef and add 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 2 stalks celery, sliced, 1 cup chopped parsnips, 1 cup black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained.
Make it hot: Add 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce.
Other squashes: Instead of butternut, try 2 cups of acorn or buttercup squash. Try pumpkin during Thanksgiving and serve in the pumpkin!
Alcohol free: Use broth instead of alcohol.