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.

Ingredients (for an 8qt Instant Pot):

  • 1.2kg pork ears (preferably to be combined with lower pork legs)
  • 1 kg turkey leg
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 big onions
  • 200g celery roots
  • 1 tablespoon pepper (whole seeds not ground)
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 3 leaves of laurel
  • 100g peas - optional, for decoration


  1. Let the pork parts in water with 2 tablespoons of salt in the fridge. This step is optional but helps a lot in well cleaning the ears.
  2. Clean well the pork, cut it into large chunks and put it in the Instant Pot together with the turkey leg.
  3. Peel the vegetables and cut them into big chunks. For example, cut the carrots only in 2 and the onions can be left uncut for easier later removal.
  4. Add also 3 peeled cloves without cutting them.
  5. Cover with 2.5l of water, close the Instant Pot and programme it for 15 minutes at high pressure. Make a quick release of the pressure at the end.
  6. Open the lid and remove the vegetables from the pot. I cook it in 2 steps simply because the vegetables need less time than meat to be cooked. Part of these vegetables, can go back into the final dish or they can be kept in the freezer for a future soup.
  7. Add extra 0.5 litres of water into the pot, close the lid and programme it for 45 minutes at high pressure to continue the cooking of the meat. This time, go for the natural release for 30 minutes when the programme is over.
  8. Open the lid and take all the meet out to a plate. Leave it for 15 minutes to cool so you can touch it.
  9. Chop the remaining garlic and add it to the soup from the Instant Pot liner. Leave it there until you perform the next steps.
  10. Remove the meat from the bones with your fingers and break it into small pieces. Some parts, like cartilage from the ears, will require more chopping with a knife, Discard the bones.
  11. Prepare approximately 15 bowls if you want to divide them into portions. Of course, you can use bigger bowls or plastic lunch boxes that can hold about 5 litres of liquid in total. Cut the carrots into slices and decorate the bottom of the bowls. Add peas for decoration if you prefer. Do not forget, this decoration is useful only if you return the bowls otherwise, if you eat them straight from the bowls, you can skip the decoration part. Putting back the vegetables into the bowls is optional as some prefer a pure jelly.
  12.  Add the meat in equal portions in each bowl.
  13. If you do not like the strong garlic scent, strain the soup remaining into the Instant pot liner and pour it over the meat into the little bowls. But if you do like the strong garlic taste, do not strain the soup and leave the garlic inside.
  14. Let the bowls into a cold place until it is OK to place them into the fridge. Then, you need at least 2-3 hours for the soup to fully solidify to become like jelly. It might happen that on the top of the bowls you'll see a white layer. That is fat, you can remove it gently with a spoon or eat it if you prefer.


Post a Comment