Legendary Dishes | Kostica (barbecued juicy pork on the bone)


One of Moldova’s great traditional dishes – pork that is very tender and very spicy.


  • 1.3 kg (4) pork chops / pork on the bone
  • 750 ml mineral / spring water / meat broth
  • 500 ml tomato sauce
  • 2 lemons, juice
  • 30 g mustard 
  • 30 ml wine vinegar
  • 30 g paprika flakes
  • 15 g black pepper
  • 15 g paprika sweet
  • 5 g green peppercorns, ground
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses

Rub mustard into the pork, then the paprikas and peppers, leave to rest for 30 minutes. Combine the tomato sauce with the water / broth, lemon juice, molasses and vinegar, whisk, pour over the pork, marinate for three hours. Ideally cooked on a hot grill, a couple of minutes each side, to seal in the juices. Alternatively they can be sealed in a hot frying pan, three minutes each side, and finished in a 220ºC oven, about six minutes. Serve with thick cornmeal (mamaliga) or roast potatoes with garlic sauce, below.


  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled
  • 30 ml sunflower oil
  • 30 ml water
  • 15 ml wine vinegar / lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 g dried dill
  • Black pepper, large pinch (optional)

Chop garlic, immerse in half of the salt. Pound in a mortar with the remaining salt. Whisk oil in to the garlic, then broth or water, and greens if using. Use with fish, meat or vegetables.