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Cosmin was really excited about this, I however was bricking it.  Moldova used to be a part of Romania, they still speak Romanian and there is so much cross over with the cuisine that it is practically the same.  He knows his torchituras very well indeed and our pal Buia a fellow Romanian was also joining us for this dish so there was no room for error.   

Translating recipes directly from source I have come across some rather ambiguous instructions which up until now I have interpreted myself.  This one however specified a critical stage as being when the ‘water drops drippings’.  Huh?  Does this mean when it starts to steam up?  When it starts raining in the pan?  Thankfully I had a native speaker on hand who explained it meant when the liquids have almost evaporated. 

Not a dish for those on a diet, it calls for the fattiest cuts of pork (required so they’ll survive the long cooking process without drying out) which are then cooked in lard and bacon fat. My sort of but not quite parents in law were thrilled that their boy was getting ‘proper’ food in rainy London, Papa Vaida declaring me a true Romanian, sssshhhh it’s Moldovan, and Mama Vaida proclaiming the dish ‘Very good and yummy’.

Makes Dulcie's List   Makes Cosmin's List


  • 250g pork leg cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 250g pork belly cut into 3cm cubes
  • 60g lard
  • 60g slanina (bacon fat) cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 250g sausages cut into 3 cm lengths
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 heaped tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic bulb crushed
To Serve
  • Sheep cheese
  • Fried eggs
  • Mamaliga (polenta)
  • Various pickles
  • Garlic sauce


  • Calories | 520
  • Fat | 46.6g

Serves | 6 portions

Prep Time | 10 minutes

Cooking Time | 2 hours


  1. Place the lard in a very large saucepan and heat on medium until melted, add the slanina and continue to cook until crisp.
  2. Add the pork leg and pork belly, stir in the spices and thyme, cover with a lid and cook mixing regularly until the liquid has almost evaporated and the meat begins to brown.
  3. Add the sausages and simmer gently until the meat is cooked through. Stir in the crushed garlic.
  4. Leave covered for ten minutes before stirring.
  5. Serve with fried eggs, Mamaliga, grated sheep cheese, pickles and garlic sauce.

Based on a recipe found at

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