Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The capital city is Chișinău.
Moldova declared independence on August 27, 1991 as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The current Constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994. A strip of Moldovan territory on the east bank of the river Dniester has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990.
Due to a decrease in industrial and agricultural output following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the service sector has grown to dominate Moldova’s economy and currently composes over 60% of the nation’s GDP. However, Moldova remains the poorest country in Europe.
The name “Moldova” is derived from the Moldova River; the valley of this river was a political centre when the Principality of Moldavia was founded in 1359.
The origin of the name of the river is not clear. According to a legend recounted by Moldavian chroniclers Dimitrie Cantemir and Grigore Ureche, the river was named by prince Dragoș after hunting an aurochs: after the chase, his exhausted hound Molda drowned in the river. The dog’s name was given to the river and extended to the Principality.
Moldova until recently was highly agricultural and this is reflected in its traditional cuisine.
The Hirshon Moldovan Friptura din Costita de Porc – is not only a traditional Moldovan recipe, it is one of the most popular as well. Pork ribs cooked in beer with onions, the cooked onions add a sweetness to the meat, making it truly delicious!
I’ve added a range of fresh herbs to add even more flavor to this classic dish.
Enjoy this hearty meal, my Citizens!
3 – 4 large onions
¼ cup oil
2 ½ pounds pork ribs
1 tablespoon salt, or as needed/desired
¼ – ½ teaspoon black pepper
2 – 3 whole bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 cup of beer
4 garlic cloves, or to taste
Coarse kosher salt
fresh summer savory
Cut the ribs so as to separate each rib from each other, then into pieces between 3″ – 5″ long. Rub the ribs with salt and ground black pepper, and set aside.
Slice the onions thinly.
Place oil and onions in a large pot and cook them until translucent. Add the meat, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. Mix everything together thoroughly.
Cover the pot with its lid (important!), and cook on medium-low for about 40 – 45 minutes, mixing every once in a while. The meat will be cooked and the onion will be pretty much dissolved.
Uncover and continue cooking, to let some of the juices evaporate.
Add the beer and cook uncovered for a few more minutes, until some of the liquid evaporates again. You can cook less if you would prefer more of the gravy, or longer, if you would like less of it.
Crush garlic using a mortar and pestle, add salt, crush further to a rough paste. Add the herbs in equal proportions to your taste to the paste, grind some more, and then add to the pot.
Cover again (important!) and cook for an additional 5 minutes, to allow the garlic and herb flavor to blend in. Remove from heat.
Traditionally the ribs are served with feta cheese, sour cream and ‘Mamaliga’ – a traditional cornmeal bread, also known as Polenta.