Main Dish

Pork Stew with Prunes and Armagnac

Sanglier Cellars

422 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, CA 95448

This is one of my favorite stews. I prepared it at our harvest party and became very friendly with this recipe after making eight pots. It was a hit and pairs so well with our Old Camp Pinot Noir. - Melissa

  • 20 pitted prunes
  • 3/4 cup Armagnac brandy
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 pound bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bottle full-bodied red wine
  • 1 cup demi-glace
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bouquet garni (4 juniper berries, 3 rosemary sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs, handful parsley leaves, tied in cheesecloth)
  • Polenta, mashed potatoes or crusty bread for serving


In a bowl, combine the prunes and Armagnac and let stand for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. 

In a Dutch oven or other ovenproof pot over medium-high heat, warm some olive oil. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Working in batches (do not crowd the pan), add the pork and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl. 

Add the bacon to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the prunes and Armagnac, wine, demi-glace, bay leaves, bouquet garni, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the pork is very tender, about 2 hours. 

Remove the pot from the oven. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaves and bouquet garni.

Serve the stew with polenta, mashed potatoes or some good crusty bread.