Photography: Buckhorn Exchange/Facebook

A homey stew, amped up with bourbon and coffee, is sure to keep the upcoming season’s chill at bay.

The Buckhorn Exchange in Denver is as historically important to the West as Jim Bridger, Chief Joseph, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and President Theodore Roosevelt. It can also be just as wild as the Old West. The menu is packed with choices of game and exotic meats, including rattlesnake, yak, alligator, quail, Cornish game hens, elk, and bison.

“We’re pioneers in exotic meats,” says current co-owner Bill Dutton. “They really put us on the map nationally and internationally. [Customers] try things they don’t usually get back home.” But bison and elk are the top sellers. The Buckhorn Exchange’s homey stew of bison, amped up with bourbon and coffee, is sure to keep the upcoming season’s chill at bay and keep your taste buds happy.

Photography: Buckhorn Exchange

Buffalo Red Eye Stew

4 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ pound butter
2 pounds bison stew meat (preferably sirloin)
½ yellow onion, 1-inch dice
¼ tablespoon white pepper
¼ tablespoon dried thyme
¼ tablespoon whole rosemary
½ tablespoon basil
½ tablespoon salt
1½ tablespoons granulated garlic
1 cup flour
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup bourbon
½ cup strong coffee
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
2 cups water

Place potato cubes in saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook until potatoes are about half done. While potatoes are simmering, in large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat; add stew meat, onions, and dry spices. Allow to simmer while potatoes are cooking. When potatoes are about half done, add flour to pan with buffalo and mix in well. Allow to cook for 5 minutes.

Add the can of tomatoes and stir into buffalo mixture and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the balance of ingredients (drain potatoes first). Gently stir together, return to a boil, reduce heat, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes (or until buffalo is tender, depending on cut).

Serve in a large bowl or a large hollowed-out loaf of sheepherders’ bread.

The Buckhorn Exchange, 1000 Osage St., Denver, 303.534.9505,


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