I know it sounds almost sacrilegious, but I must confess that I am not a fan of chulent. I think it’s an overrated food, that in the end just looks like a big pile of brown mush. But I do appreciate it for what it is and what it does. Chulent has been a Jewish classic for centuries since it’s an economical dish that can feed many for not a lot of money (depending on your choice of meats, of course).
There is nothing better than a steaming bowl of hearty, warm food when you enter your home from shul on a cold, wintry night. Also, waking up Shabbos morning to the delightful smell of chulent is fantastic; the ultimate Jewish comfort food, its smells awaken all the senses. And what tastes better than potatoes slow cooked in chulent, or a nice slice of home-made kishke?
I know I’m not alone in not liking chulent, so here are some other options to consider. Yapchik is a great alternative; it’s a potato kugel with meat in the middle. I make this fantastic meat and cabbage dish; it’s like an unstuffed cabbage. And my recipe for Pesach chulent from my book Perfect For Pesach has gone viral. I think because it’s more like a meat stew without beans.
Take your crockpot out and use your imagination. There are so many wonderful overnight cooking dishes you can create with this ingenious device that doesn’t have to be chulent.
And yes, you’re still Jewish even if you don’t like chulent!