Pork-turkey jelly / aspic (Piftie sau racituri de porc si curcan) in Instant Pot

I have to recognise that this year I made "piftie" for the first time in my life although it is a very popular and traditional dish for Christmas and New Year in my birth country. My mother is making this dish for the New Year with regularity and I used to eat it with pleasure.

I almost forgot about this dish since last year when a good friend of mine (who is a fantastic chef) offered me a bowl of this traditional dish and it was so good that it imprinted well in my mind and triggered a desire to try to make it myself. Throughout the year I brainstormed about where I should buy the right ingredients for it. Recently, when visiting a Romanian shop, I saw what I needed: pork ears. You can imagine that I bought and bring them home with great motivation to launch myself in making this dish.

Pork ears and pork legs are perfect but I only had pork ears for my test. It worked very well with only pork ears too. There is a reason why this dish can be made from ears, legs or skin of pork: the natural gelatin. This is the key to create the jelly aspect that transforms it from a normal soup. The turkey is added only for having a meat addition inside the jelly. It exists a version exclusively made from turkey or chicken but you need to add extra gelatin as these birds do not have enough to solidify the soup.

There is a lot of garlic in this recipe (2 heads) as it is one of its main tastes. You can play with how strong you want the garlic taste to be by leaving the garlic in or straining it out. It is a personal choice. I chose to strain it but I feel that keeping the garlic inside could have been a better choice.

This dish is served cold, that's why the original name "racituri" means "cold things".

The Instant Pot helps a great deal with this recipe because it cooks the meat in 45 minutes so well that it detaches itself from the bones. Without an Instant Pot, the second boil takes 2-3 hours on low heat.

Greek-style chicken and rice in Instant Pot

Before knowing the Instant Pot, I thought there would be nothing to impress me in terms of cooking devices. I am not too keen to fill in my kitchen with appliances that I use once a year. This is actually a reason why I hesitated so much in buying it. I had an old pressure cooker that I used rarely and mainly for soups. The strongest point that actually convinced me to buy it was the simplicity of using it. One pot to make all inside, reduce the number of dishes to clean and the time invested in cooking.
Since then, Instant Pot was my main way of cooking soups, stews, side dishes, meat and even some cakes.

This is a Mediterranean-style dish and I arrived to make it a couple of times already. Both the meat and the rice are cooked in stages and the result is absolutely delicious. The "cherry on the cake" is the yoghurt sauce that cuts any heaviness of the dish.