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Vegetarian Cholent, Crockpot VI (D/P, TNT)
Source: "Out of Our Kitchen Closets" by Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, submitted by Bill Ashley-Dobbin
Serves: 10 to 15

4 tbsp. (2 oz.) butter, margarine, or non-stick cooking spray
1/2 to 1 cup mild vegetable oil (e.g., canola)
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin seeds

Bean option:
1 cup dried large lima beans
1 cup dried pearl barley
1 cup dried red kidney beans
1 cup dried pinto beans
1 cup dried brown lentils
6 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (6-oz.) package split pea soup mix with barley
2 (.35-oz.) vegetable bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Potato option:
1 (5 lb.) bag russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks (or thinly sliced)
1 cup dried pearl barley
1 cup dried great northern (or navy) beans
1 (2.75-oz.) package low-sodium onion soup mix (both envelopes, if present)
1-1/2 tsp. (1/2 tbsp.) black pepper
Approximately 2 quarts (8 cups) cold water

Also needed:
1 (6-qt.) electric slow cooker (crockpot)
1 large (16"x17.5") oven bag (optional)

If desired, place oven bag in crockpot. If using oven bag, drop in butter. If not, either generously spread butter over container of crockpot, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add oil, garlic, sesame seeds, salt, and cumin seeds.

Add either all bean option ingredients, or all potato option ingredients.

Add cold tap water until all ingredients are covered. Stir with long-handled wooden spoon to combine ingredients.

If using oven bag: Close bag with nylon tie. Cut 6 (1/2") slits in top of bag.

Cover crockpot with lid. Insert plug. Set temperature at LOW.

Cook 10 to 12 hours: In most cases, it will take 10 hours in a relatively new crockpot, and 12 hours if using an older (and slower) model. If planning to cook this for more than 10 hours, you will probably want to add extra water unless confident that your crockpot will not dry anything out.

If making for a traditional Shabbat dinner, it can be left overnight (up to 20 hours) until mealtime. The crockpot will keep it warm. However, for this, you will need a slow cooker that does not get too hot. I understand that older models or the West Bend brand are the best for this, but have never personally tried it.

Unplug crockpot (and turn it off if your crockpot doesn't have an automatic timer). Carefully cut open top of oven bag, and serve hot.

Substitute 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven or bean pot for slow cooker, and bake in 200°F oven for 12 to 18 hours.

For a richer cholent, use 8 tbsp. (4 oz.) butter or margarine. For a lighter cholent, omit butter, and use only 1/2 cup mild vegetable oil.

Poster's Notes:
This is unequivocally the best cholent I have ever tasted. I stopped trying new recipes after discovering this one.

This is a nice, easy dish, and could also be given as a gift mix (a basket, pail, or colander filled with whole vegetables, a jar of the dry ingredients, and the recipe, neatly typed, and rolled up and secured with a bow)--a delicious, effortless dinner to prepare at their convenience.

Note that this must be begun at least 10 hours before it is to be served.

Posted by Virginia Sauer (Sir Angus), Z'L

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A