Note: If bison is unavailable, this recipe will work with a beef tenderloin as well.
- For the Bison:
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 center-cut bison tenderloin, trimmed and tied for roasting (about 2 pounds, see note)
- For the Sauce:
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems (about 2 loosely packed cups)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
Combine sugar, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and coriander in a small bowl and mix with fingers until homogenous. Rub evenly over entire surface of tenderloin. Transfer to a wire rack, refrigerate, and let rest for at least 45 minutes and up to overnight.
Meanwhile, combine cilantro, garlic, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until a rough sauce is formed, about 20 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When ready to cook, adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 275°F. Heat oil in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add tenderloin and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer tenderloin to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to oven. Roast until an instant read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 125°F for medium rare or 135°F for medium, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before carving and serving with sauce.
Food processor or blender, large cast iron or stainless steel skillet