Tordai pecsenye – Roast of Torda

by | Sep 30, 2016 | Meat dishes

The homeland of this simple, but divine pork roast is Torda, a town near Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) in Transylvania. Roast of Torda is usually served as a part of the Fatányéros (Mixed Grill), which is a dish containing different pan-fried or grilled meats on a wooden platter.

This roast was made originally at the fair of Torda and it was sold with fermented cucumbers and white bread. Torda is famous, among others, for its salt mine; that natural, untreated salt was used to brine the pork in a 6% salt solution.

Tordai pecsenye is usually made from skin-on pork loin, but blade stake or pork belly can be suitable as well. Meat is brined for at least 3-4 hours, but brining can last up to 10 hours. It’s recommended to cut slits on the edge of the meat slices otherwise they will curl during frying. If you use skin-on, fatty meat, spread the skin and fat with milk before frying, so they will become crispy.

Roast of Torda - Tordai pecsenye
Tordai pecsenye – photo:


  • 6 slices of pork (skin-on pork loin or pork blade steak – slices should be thicker)
  • 500 ml (~2 cups) water
  • 30 g (~2 tbsp) salt (untreated)
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 400-500 g (~1 lb) lard for frying

For the spicy potatoes:

  • 800 g (~1 3/4 lb) smaller potatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/4 tsp pepper, marjoram, thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 300-400 g (~3/4 lb) lard for frying

Dissolve salt in water. Cut 4-5 slits on the edges of each slice to prevent it from curling. Layer the slices in a bowl and pour the brine over them. Make sure that the liquid covers every slice. Chill for at least 3-4 hours.

In a deep frying pan melt the lard. Add peeled onion and garlic cloves. Once the lard is hot enough, remove onion and garlics and carefully put the pork slices into the lard. Over medium heat fry until tender and golden brown. When they are done, transfer the slices onto a plate lined with paper towel.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters. In salty water cook them until halfway done (it takes about 5-10 minutes). Drain and place them into a bowl. Sprinkle and coat them evenly with cornflour, then season with salt, pepper, marjoram, paprika, and salt. In a frying pan heat the lard and fry the potatoes until golden and crispy. With a slotted spoon transfer them on paper towels to absorb excess lard.

Serve roast of Torda with spicy potatoes and pickles.

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Hungarian cottage cheese

This is what Hungarian túró looks like

You often ask me what kind of cottage cheese (or curd cheese or farmer's cheese - call it what you want) I use in the recipes. In Hungary the store-bought cottage cheese is dry and crumbly as you can see in the picture. So if a recipe calls for túró, I mean this type. If you can't obtain túró, you can try to make your own from whole milk. Click on the link below.

Metric system vs cup

In Hungary metric units are in use, all the recipes on this website are based on this system, so a kitchen scale is necessary. Since I’m not familiar with cup as a measurement unit, I convert grams to cups by using an online converter. The values in brackets, therefore, are only approximate volumes, so, please, double-check them before you start cooking.

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