For the second week of my chulent  (a.k.a. cholent) experiment (I'm trying a new recipe every week, as long as my friends keep providing!), we tried a traditional flanken chulent with some twists. The kids loved it and took seconds and thirds. (Baby Zipora licked her tray clean. Literally.) It was a little heavy for me and my husband, so I'm not sure it'll be on the list to make again. But if you're looking for a kid-friendly flanken chulent with some flair, this is a really good one to try. If you want a lighter, healthier variety of chulent, try my turkey chulent. And if lamb's your thing, Esther Shemtob's Hamin is wonderful.

Ayala Cohen's Meat Chulent with a Twist
Ayala uses frozen french fries instead of potatoes to save time on prep. I have to say, it was quite a treat to skip the peeling and cubing and the texture of the fries is perfect in the chulent! If you want to avoid the extra fat, you could certainly use cubed Idaho potatoes instead. Reduce or eliminate the barbecue sauce if you want less 'kick.' The flanken gives it plenty of flavor.

1/2 bag chulent beans
1 medium onion, chopped coarse 

1 cup brown rice
1/2 of a 32-oz. bag of frozen french fries (or use 2 Idaho potatoes, cut in cubes)
(2-4 tablespoons of A 1 steak sauce or other favorite barbecue sauce, optional)
about 2 pounds of flanken, cut in chunks
2 teaspoons salt
a nice sprinkling of garlic powder

Soak the beans overnight. Drain and combine with the onions, rice, french fries and barbecue sauce in a crock pot. Cover generously with water, then add the flanken, salt and spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low. Leave the chulent simmering on low until Shabbos morning, or until you're ready to eat, at least 24 hours if possible. Serve hot.