Pork (or Boar) Stew with Prunes and Armagnac

I prepared this stew with boar meat, because boar reminds me of autumn in Europe when it’s the season of la chasse – or hunting season.  Like most game, boar is lean and has a slightly gamey flavor. It benefits from slow cooking and pairs well with powerful aromatics such as juniper, winter fruit and spirits, such as Calvados and Armagnac. If you cannot find boar meat, pork is a good substitute.

Pork (or Boar) Stew with Prunes and Armangnac
Serves 6-8.

20 prunes
3/4 cup Armagnac brandy
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds boar or pork shoulder meat, cut in 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
2 bay leaves
1 bouguet garni: 4 juniper berries, 3 rosemary sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs, handful of celery leaves

Combine prunes and Armagnac in a bowl. Let sit at least one hour.
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. Sauté in batches, without overcrowding, until brown on all sides. Transfer meat to a bowl. Add bacon to dutch oven and sauté until the fat renders. Add carrots and onion. Sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Return meat to the pot with any accumulated juices. Add prunes with Armagnac, wine, 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 seasoning. Remove and discard bay leaves and bouquet garni. (Stew may be prepared up to two days in advance. Warm over low heat or in a 300 F. oven before serving.) Serve with mashed potatoes or polenta.

28 responses to “Pork (or Boar) Stew with Prunes and Armagnac

  1. This looks fantastic, and has a very medieval tone with the prunes and boar, I look forward to making this with our own pork next year.. lovely..c

  2. It is ridiculous that I turn my nose up at boar – but adore “pork”…Cannot wait until the weather cools to try this – with a pork shoulder 😉

  3. You hit all the right buttons with me here – love a nice stew, and prunes + Armagnac… WOW!

    Just pinned your post so I won’t miss it….

  4. Pork (and boar) goes so well with prunes and the armagnac! I had a dinner party Saturday night and served roast pork and hardlikearmour’s pickled prunes on the side. Fantastic combination. With stew weather upon us, this is a perfect dish!! Happy Monday to you!

  5. A marvelous dish! Armagnac and boar, what a fabulous and tasty combination.



  6. Wow, this is simply stunning. I just stared at that picture for awhile!

  7. look at that colour! packed with tastiness!

  8. This looks outstanding. I’m always doing my pork shoulder the “same old” way I always do it, thanks for the new idea/inspiration.

  9. Did you do the entire recipe in that cast iron pan?

  10. omgosh…its again soooooo colorful n divine..;)
    Tasty Appetite

  11. Lynda I’ve never had boar, but that’s one beautiful stew!

  12. What a perfect fall meal, Lynda. I simply love the colours and prunes and Armangnac sound like the perfect pairing. Really gorgeous!

  13. Boar would be interesting for a holiday supper 🙂

  14. Yummy! Never had boar, but I’m sure it would make a great stew! This looks delicious!!

  15. Gorgeous looking stew, Lynda. I absolutely love boar but have been unable to find it here i California, the same goes for venison and hare (not to mention horse meat ;-0). Do you have any reliable suppliers that you could recommend?

    • Hi Marianne,
      Broken Arrow Ranch is a good mail order source. (www.brokenarrowranch.com) Also, Golden Gate Meat Company in the SF Ferry Building has boar meat, and you most likely can order other game from them. – Lynda

  16. Thank you, Lynda. Will check it out.

  17. This looks absolutely fantastic…
    So comforting and cozy…
    Perfect for cold days… Yumm….

  18. Oh man….I wish I could just crawl into that skillet and start eating!

  19. Now all I need to do is decide which friends to invite to share this with us. This is the most delicious looking dish I’ve seen in a long time.

  20. I have a freezer full of wild hog right now. I’ve never heard of Armagnac before but I’ll definitely be looking for some now. Thank you!

  21. My kitchen smells so wonderful right now and I’m loving the heat from the oven!!! 🙂 We cannot wait to EAT it!! I read the post on where to get boar- just curious on my second question…. is there a marked difference between Armagnac and brandy? YUM!

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