Marcus Whitman Hotel's Crater Lake Blue Cheese Crusted Buffalo Tenderloin

Buffalo is increasingly popular as a low-fat source of protein. This sophisticated recipe from the elegant Marcus Whitman Hotel pairs it with roasted baby beets, grits and wild mushroom and short rib ragout.

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 2 hours

Pair With: A Pinot Noir, especially from the Walla Walla appellation of Washington.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy the Marc at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.


Ingredients For Each Serving:

  1. 4 oz Buffalo Tenderloin
  2. 1 oz Crater Lake Blue Cheese Crust
  3. 4 oz Stone Ground Grits
  4. 3 oz Wild Mushroom and Short Rib Ragout
  5. 3 oz Roasted Local Baby Beets

Ingredients For 4 Servings of Roasted Baby Beets:

  1. 1 lb baby beets
  2. 3 oz extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  4. 1 tablespoon black pepper
  5. 1 quart chicken stock, if needed

Ingredients For 4 Servings of Stone Ground Grits:

  1. 4 oz stone ground polenta
  2. 16 oz whole milk
  3. 2 oz shredded Parmesan Reggiano cheese
  4. 4 oz butter, softened
  5. 1 ear sweet corn
  6. 1 oz ;minced shallot
  7. 1 oz ;minced garlic
  8. Kosher salt to taste
  9. black pepper to taste

Ingredients For 4 Servings of Wild Mushroom and Short Rib Ragout:

  1. 3 oz Chanterelles
  2. 3 oz Porcini mushrooms
  3. 3 oz Morels
  4. 3 oz Shitake
  5. 2 tablespoon minced shallot
  6. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  7. 6 oz braised short rib
  8. 4 oz demi-glace
  9. 4 oz butter
  10. 3 oz red wine
  11. Kosher salt to taste
  12. black pepper to taste

Ingredients For 4 Servings of Crater Lake Blue Cheese Crust:

  1. 1.5 oz Crater Lake Blue Cheese
  2. 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  3. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  4. 2 teaspoon red wine
  5. 2 oz bread crumbs
  6. 1 tablespoon Fines Herbes
  7. 1 oz rendered bone marrow
  8. salt to taste
  9. pepper to taste



Directions For Roasted Baby Beets:

  1. Cut off the greens of the beets and wash.
  2. Season the beets with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Make a pouch out of foil and wrap the beets.
  4. Place pouch of beets on a bed of salt and roast at 350 for 30 min (until a paring knife will pierce with no resistance)
  5. Gently wipe the skins off the beets with a towel.
  6. Cut in half and store in the refrigerator, if needed.
  7. Then, reheat in chicken stock with butter.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste

Directions For Stone Ground Grits:


  1. In a brazier or saucepan, brown half of the butter.
  2. Add polenta and stir, until the butter is browned.
  3. Add shallot and garlic and corn and stir till the shallot becomes translucent.
  4. Add 4 oz of the milk and stir constantly as the grain absorbs the milk, add another 4 oz and repeat.
  5. Once all the milk has been added, cook till the grain expands.
  6. Finish the grits with the remainder of the whole softened butter and Parmesan cheese.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions For Wild Mushroom and Short Rib Ragout:

  1. Sweat (cook without browning) mushrooms in a large pan with half the butter.
  2. Add garlic and shallots
  3. Deglaze with red wine and cook down to a sec (reduce by half).
  4. Add in diced short ribs and cook till heated through
  5. Pour in demi-glace and cook down slightly.
  6. Finish the ragout with the reminder of the butter; season with kosher salt and black pepper.

Directions For Crater Lake Blue Cheese Crust:

  1. Allow the cheese to come to room temperature, and heat the bone marrow back to a liquid.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand till everything clumps together.
  3. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night to firm and let the flavor build.
  4. Slice one ounce portions to coat each steak. Grill the steaks until medium rare to medium.
Chef's Notes:

This cut is very lean and will not have a gamey flavor. The buffalo should be served mid-rare to medium as it has a seriously low fat content and might be tough if cooked through. Bread crumbs, red wine, herbs and bone marrow make the blue cheese more mild. Grits add a nice creamy texture and really compliment the delicate flavor of the meat. The sauce compliments and cuts through the richness of the dish, while bringing out the earthiness of beets and blue cheese.

Recipe Courtesy Of

Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center

Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center is a storied landmark anchoring historic downtown Walla Walla.