A comforting cholent pot pie

Here’s a comforting yet elevated Shabbat dish from chef Yehuda Sichel of Abe Fisher, the kosher style Philadelphia restaurant.


  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1 cup dried kidney beans
  • ¾ lb boneless short ribs, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • ½ lb salami, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 stalk of celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 quart of water
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • Frozen puff pastry or pie dough
  • 1 large egg, beaten


Combine the barley and kidney beans in a large bowl and cover with several inches of water.

Soak overnight in the fridge. In the morning, drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Season the short ribs with salt and pepper, then add them to the pot and brown on all sides — about 3 minutes per side.

Remove the ribs from the Dutch oven and set aside.

Add the salami to the pot and cook until brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the salami and set aside.

Add the onions, celery, garlic, carrot and a small pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and are slightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Add the ketchup and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture starts to bubble.

Add the red wine and bring to the boil for 1-2 minutes to burn off the alcohol.

Add the spices, bouillon cube, water, and stir to combine.

Return to the boil and add the beans, barley, short ribs, rosemary and potatoes to the pot.

The liquid in the stew should be just covering the meat. Remove excess liquid and add additional water as necessary.

Cover the stew with a lid and place in the oven for about 3 hours or until the short ribs are fork tender.

Keep the lid on and let the stew cool in its liquid, then refrigerate overnight.

The following day, preheat the oven to 375 F.

Transfer the stew to a separate pot and simmer on the stove to bring the mixture back to temperature.

Pour the warm stew back into the cold Dutch oven, sprinkle parsley over top and drape a sheet of puff pastry over the sides of the Dutch oven.

Crimp the dough around the edges of the pot and trim away any excess.

Brush the top of the puff pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with salt.

Place the stew in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Let stand for 15 minutes and serve. Serves 4.

(Yehuda Sichel is the executive chef and partner of Abe Fisher)

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