Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin

“He brought everything back, all the food for the feast.

And he, he himself, the Grinch, carved the roast beast.”

~ The Grinch, 1966

So, I know all ten of you are hanging around just dying to know what in the heck your favorite frugal blogger is whipping up for Christmas dinner this year (you were wondering…weren’t you?). Well, all this shopping and merry-making has taken a toll on a frugal gal’s pocketbook. But I haven’t any plans to resort to peanut butter sandwiches or canned meat – although, who knows – Spam might come into play in January.

I’m going with beef, as always. I leave turkey for Thanksgiving, and ham for Easter. But Christmas dinner for the Dam’Fam has to be beef!

I absolutely love this recipe that I got ages ago from my lovely Aunt Vickie. My aunt is well-traveled and adventuresome, fluent in French, and of course, a wonderful cook. She made this boeuf (as the French say) tenderloin many years ago when she was feeding a ginormous crowd for Christmas. I’ve adopted the recipe and have been making it ever since!

Now, I’ll confess: I would absolutely love to serve a standing rib roast. A rib roast is both fabulous and impressive, but $9.99 a pound is enough to give a frugal gal sticker shock to linger long into the New Year. If you (like me) have your sweet little heart set on serving boeuf for Christmas dinner, but your head is minding the pennies, tenderloin is a no-brainer at $4.99 a pound!

Also on my Christmas table will be roasted garlic mashed potatoes (with the sale Yukon Golds, naturally), sauteed green beans and carrots, crispy popovers, and for a decadent finish, a luscious chocolate mousse.

All the best for a lovely, memorable, and delicious Holiday! ~ Leah


Serves: 10-12

  • 1 c. ruby port
  • ¾ c. soy sauce
  • ½ c. good quality olive oil
  • 1 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Several dashes of tabasco
  • 1 4-6 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed
  • 16-20 slices of best-quality bacon

Combine all marinade ingredients in a large glass measuring cup. Place beef in a large ziplock bag and pour marinade over meat. Press out air and squish the bag to coat the beef with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight, turning several times if possible.

Preheat the oven to 450. Drain the beef. Place a rack inside a roasting pan; place the beef on the rack, tucking the thin end under to ensure even cooking. Wrap bacon slices around the beef, securing with toothpicks (*see note). Insert thermometer into the thickest portion.

Roast tenderloin for 25-30 minutes for medium rare (140 degrees). Tent beef with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Transfer beef to cutting surface and cut into slices. Transfer to platter and serve.

*NOTE: I never do the toothpick step; I don’t think it’s necessary. I just wrap the bacon around the beef, making sure the loose ends are tucked securely beneath the tenderloin. Save your toothpicks for cocktail weenies!

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | December 22nd, 2009