Moldavian pan-fried pork ..or Tochitură bucovineană


A strange thought makes me think more about Romanian cuisine: its greatest roots (ironically) don't belong to common people(the anonymous chefs after all) but renowned intellectuals and political personalities! 'Rich' minds... who knew 'to steal' what was the best in French taverna, cold but warmth Austro-Hungarian chefs skills, Turkish dishes, Greek fisheries  doing that just to build a solid national cuisine.
In history of Romanian culinary literature, Costache Negruzzi and Mihail Kogalniceanu are the authors of an old cookbook (almost forgotten by time and people):″200 reţete cercate de bucate, prăjituri şi alte treburi gospodăreşti″ (200 tried recipes, pastries and other household things - of course, a well written book in a sweet and old Romanian language with a specific touch of  regionalisms from Moldavia). It was printed in 1841. 
Also, Negruzzi writes in his "Alexandru Lapusneanu"(novella that romanticizes events from the Moldavia's medieval history): "In Moldavia at this time, fine food wasn't fashioned. Greater feast could have included few courses. After Polish borş, Greek dishes follow, boiled with herbs floating in butter, after that, Turkish pilaf and finally cosmopolitan steaks".
Costache Negruzzi known as a Romanian poet, novelist, politician,translator, and playwright was the Finance minister and deputy under Sturdza-Voda. A supporter of liberal causes, he was twice exiled for criticism of the government.
Mihail Kogalniceanu well known as a Romanian liberal statesman, historian, lawyer and publicist which became Prime Minister of Romania under Domnitor (mn:King) Alexandru Ioan Cuza and later, Foreign Minister under Carol I, he also was Interior Minister under Cuza and Carol. A polymath, Kogalniceanu was one of the most influential Romanian intellectuals of his generation. 



Tochitură is a traditional Romanian dish like a stew made from beef, pork or chicken meats served with eggs,sheep cheese, tomato sauce and mămăligă. Tochitura bucovineană is a Moldavian stew style. Being a pan-fried pork, always it's served with mămăligă and wine... ("so that the pork can swim or fly"- an old and so funny proverb of the Romanian people).This tochitura made in Bucovina ( the N-E area of Romania) has something special that makes you think of satiation of the stomach as if would be something belonging to the last days of the sentenced people. A rich dish with a fullness of flavors given to you just by fewer components, a unique taste offered by combining of different types of meat, fatten enough through its meat or lard properties, lard that has a place of honor in Romanian cuisine, tochitura bucovineana is a decadent dish by itself.
The best wine you can serve here could be a Pinot Noir, or a crisp zesty Riesling Classic from Kloster Eberbach/Germany,or a Romanian Feteasca Neagra (Black Maiden) - a so deep red colour wine with ruby shades and a black currant flavour, which becomes richer and smoother with aging.

Ingredients:
300 g pieces of boneless pork meat
300 g sliced fresh smoked sausages 
300 g sliced smoked ribs 
150 g sliced smoked bacon
a small piece of liver(optional)
3 sliced large onions(or 3 bouquets of green/spring onions)
6-7 sliced cloves of garlic(you can use less, if you think that's too much)
100 ml white wine
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp pork lard
salt,pepper - on your taste

Fry in hot lard the bacon, adding then paprika, meat and ribs; stir in, until bacon starts to melt. Cover then all with enough amount of hot water. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally.
After about 20-30 min add sausages. With the pot being uncovered this time,still boil everything until the meat is almost done(easy roasted) and the liquid from the pot almost evaporated (during the boiling process, if necessary, you can add an extra amount of hot water).

Towards the end,add the white wine, onions and garlic. Stew them together with meat (not longer then 10 or 15 minutes),stirring often. 
Now, add salt and pepper, on your own taste.
Serve as long as it is hot or warm, with a polenta, or  polenta stuffed with potatoes, everything being accompanied by sheep cheese, fried eggs and seasonal salads(if not, your favorite pickles will be more than a perfect choice). 



Romanian version:
300 g pulpa de porc, bucati
300 g carnati proaspeti afumati,feliati
300 g costita costita afumata, taiata felii
150 g slanina afumata, taiata felii
o bucata mica de ficat(optional)
3 cepe mari, feliate sau 2-3 legaturi de ceapa verde
6-7 catei de usturoi feliati(poti folosi si mai putini daca ti se par a fi prea multi)
100 ml vin alb
1 l-ta boia dulce
1 l-ra untura de porc
sare,piper -dupa gust

Prajiti in untura incinsa slanina taiata feliute, adaugati boiaua, carnea si costita si mentineti totul la foc mic amestecand continuu, pana ce slanina incepe sa se topeasca. Acoperiti cu apa fierbinte si fierbeti totul la foc mic,amestecand din cind in cind in tigaie.
Dupa aproximativ 20-30 min adaugati carnatii si,cu vasul descoperit de asta data,continuati fierberea pana ce carnea este aproape facuta,usor rumenita si lichidul aproape scazut.In timpul fierberii mai puteti adauga putina apa fierbinte daca este absolut necesar s-o faceti.
Spre final, adaugati vinul alb,ceapa si usturoiul. Caliti impreuna cu carnea (nu mai mult de 10-15 min) amestecand ceva mai des in compozitie.
Se sareaza si se pipareaza, dupa propriul gust al fiecaruia.
Serviti tochitura fierbinte sau cat este inca calda cu mamaliga,ori cu mamaliga 'umpluta' cu cartofi, totul fiind acompaniat de brinza de oaie, oua ochiuri si salate specifice sezonului(daca nu, muraturile preferate vor fi mai mult decit o alegere perfecta). 

Enjoy !





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