This wine- and brandy-laced stew is guaranteed to warm you in the cold weather. After all, while libations are certainly for sipping, don’t overlook their power to enhance flavor in food, such as this pork and prune stew fortified with Armagnac. If this recipe doesn’t warm you, I’m not sure what will.
Armagnac is a brandy produced in the southwestern region of France. Like cognac, Armagnac is derived from grapes — but the difference veers subtly from there. While cognac is twice distilled, yielding a smoother pour, Armagnac is distilled only once, which lends more nuance, character and complexity to its flavor. And while this certainly makes for intriguing and wonderful sipping, it also adds delightful complexity to soups, stews, sauces, even desserts. (That said, other brandy or even port could be used in this recipe; alternatively, the alcohol can be omitted and the prunes can be soaked in hot water.)
In this recipe, Armagnac teams up with luscious prunes and pork to create a rich and homey stew perfumed with juniper and rosemary. Just remember to pour yourself a splash to enjoy while you are preparing the meal.