Denise Phillips’s fruity lamb Cholent from Alsace

By Denise Phillips, January 10, 2013

At this time of the year you can never have too many cholent recipes. This French/German version is sweetened with dried fruits. I have used peaches, apricots and pears but you can substitute them with figs, prunes and dates.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 18–20 hours
Serves 8

2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1.8kg shoulder of lamb, cubed into large pieces or whole
570ml red wine
200g tinned haricot beans, rinsed
900g potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
4 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp sugar
50g raisins
200g mixed dried fruit — apricots, pears or peaches
570ml vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprigs of rosemary, for garnish


Heat the oil in a large casserole dish on the hob.

Add the onions, garlic, and lamb and saute over a high heat for 5–10 minutes or until the meat is brown.

Add the wine, potatoes, rosemary, beans, sugar, raisins and dried fruit and enough stock to cover the ingredients.

Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1½ hours. If preferred, simmer the cholent ahead of time, cook to this stage and chill until just before Shabbat starts.

Pre-heat the oven to its lowest temperature. Cover the casserole dish with foil and then a lid; this helps to keep the heat in and prevents the moisture escaping.

Place the dish in the oven and leave overnight.

Serve when you return from shul, garnished with sprigs of rosemary.

Last updated: 1:45pm, January 10 2013