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Shared by David Lenga

Cholent with Eggs and Kishke

Yield: 8-12 servingsTime: 30 min + 16-18 H inactive

Shared by David Lenga

Cholent with Eggs and Kishke on red tablecloth.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez

Cholent with Eggs and Kishke

Yield: 8-12 servingsTime: 30 min + 16-18 H inactive

Family Journey

Lodz, Poland

Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor David Lenga shared this recipe and story in "Honey Cake & Latkes: Recipes from the Old World by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Survivors." It is reprinted here with permission of the Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial Foundation.

To have cholent in a Yiddish home, in prewar Poland, in Lodz, was a must. There was no Shabbat without the cholent. It’s just the way it was. Everybody looked forward to it. It was the taste of heaven. When I was a ten or eleven year old boy, my mother would put all the cholent ingredients into a black cast-iron pot. She would wrap it around very tight with paper and then with string. She would wrap it hermetically tight. She would put a lid on it and then give it to me—the oldest boy—to go to the neighborhood bakery. The bakery would put it in his oven and give you the top part of a ticket. Part of the ticket with the number would go on the cholent, and the other part you would hold on to and redeem your food later. And so I went every Friday before Shabbat to the baker to take the cholent for the family. All the other Jews were doing the same thing. There were hundreds of people lined up outside of the baker’s story: the whole neighborhood. Everybody did it.

Try David's recipe for blueberry stonekes and explore more recipes from other Holocaust survivors in "Recipes from the Kitchens of Holocaust Survivors".


  • 1 cup dried beans: lima, pinto, red (not kidney), or a mixture (see notes)
  • 2 ½ pounds large red potatoes, peeled and halves
    2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 ½ pounds beef stew meat or brisket, cut into chunks
  • 2 marrowbones
  • 1 kishke (optional)
  • ½ cup pearl barley or coarse grain kasha
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 eggs (optional)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Overnight Main CoursesShabbatMeat Eastern Europe


  • Step 1

    Presoak the beans: Place the beans into the bottom of a large pot and cover with several inches of water. (The beans will double in size as they soak, so make sure to use plenty of water.) Boil for 5 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat. Let soak for 1 hour, then drain and rinse well before proceeding with the recipe.

  • Step 2

    Make the stew: In a large slow cooker (the larger the better!), place the potatoes in a single layer on the bottom of the cooking vessel. Sprinkle the onions over the potatoes. Place the beef in a single layer on top of the vegetables and add the marrow bones. (If you're adding kishke, now would be the time to put it in the cooker.)

  • Step 3

    Rinse the beans, checking for any stones or impurities. If using barley or kasha, do the same with the grains. Sprinkle the beans and grains, if you choose, over the top of the meat. Tuck the garlic cloves into the meat, spacing them evenly. Sprinkle black pepper over the top. If using eggs, rinse their shells well and then tuck them into the meat.

  • Step 4

    Put the broth in a container and whisk in the salt, paprika, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Pour the liquid over the cholent. Add additional water until all the beans and pieces of meat are just barely covered, approximately another 1 cup.

  • Step 5

    Cover the slow cooker and cook on low power for 16-18 hours (depending on strength of cooker), checking occasionally and adding water if the mixture looks dry. When the cooking is complete, most cookers will auto-switch to warm. If yours doesn't, set it to warm until ready to serve. Peel the eggs (if using) before serving.

  • Step 6

    The cholent will look a bit medieval when it's done cooking! Don't worry, just dig in and you'll see that it's perfectly cooked below the surface.