Welcome to Mise en Place, a journey of culinary delight where anything can happen. Based on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s list of food by month, KRCC takes a look at farmers, chefs, and fodder, all with a Centennial State bent.

Each month, the state’s agriculture department highlights a commodity and provides a recipe using that product. We take it a step further.

This December we visit with an animal that has provided all sorts of goods for a very long time. Nearly wiped out, it’s now growing in popularity as an alternative to beef. It’s the American buffalo. Peter Popp of Black Forest Bison invited me to visit with a herd, and I also went to the Craftwood Inn in Manitou Springs, a fine dining restaurant known for its game cuisine. There, Chef Ben Hoffer cooked up buffalo filet Diane.

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Click below for the recipe for buffalo filet Diane from Chef Ben Hoffer of the Craftwood Inn, and for a recipe for buffalo and bean chili from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Buffalo Filet Diane
Chef Ben Hoffer, Craftwood Inn
Yield: to order

1 ea. 6 oz. Buffalo filet
1 ea. strip of good bacon
clarified butter, as needed

Wrap the bacon around the filet and secure it with a toothpick. Season both sides of filet with salt and pepper. Heat a sauté pan over high heat with enough clarified butter to sear the filet. Sear it on all sides, including the bacon. Finish in a different pan, in a 400 degree over until desired doneness. Serve with favorite starch and grilled vegetables.

Sauce Diane
(Yield: to order)

pinch cracked black pepper
splash of Brandy
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup game demi-base (or beef)
butter, as needed
pinch of minced parsley

After the buffalo filet is seared, build this sauce a la minute (made-to-order) in the searing pan, after draining some, but not all of the juice. Add the black pepper to the pan. Remove pan from heat and add the brandy. Return to the heat, add the heavy cream, mustard, demi, butter, and parsley. Reduce and serve.

Recipe from the Colorado Department of Agriculture

Buffalo and Bean Chili
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., Valley Country Club, Aurora, Colo.

4 slices Applewood Bacon, medium dice
1 lb. Buffalo Stew Meat, medium dice
2 cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
1/2 ea. Red Bell Pepper, medium dice
1/2 ea. Green Bell Pepper, medium dice
1/2 ea. Yellow Bell Pepper, medium dice
1/2 ea. Small Yellow Onion, medium dice
1 ea. Small Fresh Jalapeno, minced
1 14oz. can Diced Tomato
1 14oz. can Crushed Tomato
1-1/2 cans Pinto Beans, drained
2 Tbsp. Cumin
4 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. Seasoning Salt
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke

Sauté bacon. Add buffalo and garlic and cook until buffalo is browned. In a separate pan sauté onion and peppers until golden. Combine onions and peppers with sautéed meat, add jalapeno and cook. Add tomatoes, beans and seasonings and simmer for 35 minutes. Serve with cornbread muffins.


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