Melissa's Recipes

DECEMBER 2017

Pork Stew with Prunes and Armagnac

This is one of my favorite stews and of course it features pork! I prepared this last year for our harvest party so I became very friendly with it after preparing about 8 pots of it. It was a hit and it pairs so well with our earthly Old Camp Pinot Noir. -Melissa

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

20 prunes
3/4 Armagnac brandy
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 pounds pork shoulder meat, excess fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch chunks
4 ounces bacon, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
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 of parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine prunes and Armagnac in a bowl. Let sit for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or oven-proof pot with lid. Season the meat all over with salt and pepper. Saute in batches, without overcrowding, until all brown on all sides. Transfer meat to a bowl. Add bacon to dutch oven and saute until fat renders. Add carrots and onion. Saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. 
  3. Return meat to the pot with any accumulated juices. Add prunes with Armagnac, wine, demi-glace, bay leaves, bouquet garni, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pan and transfer to oven.  Bake until meat is very tender, 2 1/2-3 hours. Remove from oven and taste to check for seasoning.  Remove and discard bay leaves and bouquet garni.
  4. Pair with Sanglier Old Camp Pinot Noir
  5. Serve with mashed potatoes, pasta noodles, polenta or some crusty bread.
  6. Stew may be prepared up to two days in advance. Warm over low heat or in a 300 F. oven before serving.