Tochitura – traditional Romanian meat stew and vegan nightmare
Tochitura has red wine, meat, cheese, and eggs – what’s not to like? This is one of the oldest recipes in Romanian cuisine and, without exaggerating, one of the tastiest.
It started as a relatively simple dish:
Ignat (the religious feast day of St. Ignatius of Antioch) became synonymous with annual pig slaughter, owing to the fact that it’s close to Christmas and would give families enough time to prepare the meat. Now, remember that this is hundreds of years ago. You’re hungry after some hard work preparing sausages and stuff. What do you do? You take pieces of pork (and the leftover organs) and fry them in their own fat, then eat them with mamaliga (polenta). You barbarian.
The recipe evolved over time and ended up with quite a few regional variations – the recipe below is for tochitura dobrogeana, from the region of Dobrogea on the east side of Romania.
Instructions on how to make tochitura
Let’s get to it and make this awesome dish. It’s a bit of work but you’ll enjoy the result.
Chop the meat and sausages, heat the oil in a deep pan or pot and fry until browned. Cut and add garlic, fry for a minute then pour the wine. Not in your mouth, in the pot. The meetings are on Tuesdays if you have a problem.
Add the tomato paste and all the seasonings and simmer. If the wine reduces too much you can add some water to get a more saucy result.
When you have the sauce’s consistency to your liking, turn down the heat to the lowest possible level and start making the eggs. You can either poach or fry them sunny side up but make sure that they’re still a bit runny.
Now comes the best part – the one where you build a pyramid of tastiness. Take some polenta (here’s how to make it) and put it on a plate. Place the egg on top of it and sprinkle the white cheese on top of the egg. Finally, pour the sauce and meat on the side.
Listen to this while cooking.
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