Obviously I use elk tenderloin here, but any red meat, pork or even turkey would work well with this ancho sauce. Dried ancho chiles are easily found in most large supermarkets, and if yours doesn't have them, look for a Latin market or get them online. The sauce will keep for a week in the fridge, so you can make it ahead or make more for chips later.
2tablespoonsvegetable, canola or grapeseed oil(high smoke point)
2poundselk or deer backstrap or tenderloin
1tablespoonblack pepper,finely ground
1tablespoondried, powdered green onion(optional)
Make the ancho sauce. Heat the lard in a small pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook slowly until it caramelizes, about 40 minutes. You may need to cover the pan and/or add a tablespoon of water here and there to keep the onions from burning. Take your time with this step, as it's important to the flavor.
Meanwhile, remove stem and seeds from the anchos and pour boiling water over them. When the onions are ready, tear the anchos into pieces and add to the pan with the garlic and salt. Cook 5 minutes, then pour everything into a blender and puree until smooth. (this step can be done several days ahead.)
Take the tenderloin out of the fridge, salt it well and let it come to room temperature while you make the sauce, about 30 minutes or so.
Cook the tenderloin. Heat the oil in a pan that will fit the tenderloin over medium-high heat. Pat the elk dry with paper towels and sear on all sides for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use the finger test for doneness to determine when it's done.
Coat the meat in the black pepper and dried onion, if using. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Spread some ancho sauce on a plate, slice the tenderloin into medallions and top with pico de gallo, if using.
Pico de gallo doesn't really need a recipe, but if you're lost, dice 4 plum tomatoes, 1 white onion, some cilantro and as much hot chile as you like. Soak the onions in lime juice for 20 minutes, then toss together.