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Parchment-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Leek, Bacon, and Parmesan Stuffing

Servings: 8

Beef tenderloin is popular at Christmas, but few guests will have had it served this way, with a savory, smoky bread stuffing, baked to just the right amount of crisp on the outside and tender, medium-rare meat within. Learn more about the technique and see a stop-action video on the wrapping process here.


For the stuffing

  • 10 oz. potato bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
  • 1/2 oz. dried wild mushrooms
  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 2 medium leeks (about 14 oz.), white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, washed, and dried
  • 1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs


For the beef

  • 2 to 2-1/2 lb. trimmed (see Tip, below) whole beef tenderloin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray or olive oil, as needed


For the balsamic sauce

  • 3/4 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 finely chopped shallot
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Pinch granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 570
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 320
  • Fat (g): 35
  • Saturated Fat (g): 17
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 200
  • Sodium (mg): 860
  • Carbohydrates (g): 30
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Sugar (g): 11
  • Protein (g): 33


Make the stuffing

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Arrange the bread in a single layer on one or two large rimmed baking sheets and toast until dried and crisp, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a rack.
  • Put the mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup boiling water. Soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Strain the mushrooms over a bowl, squeezing them to extract more liquid. Reserve the liquid and mushrooms separately, and coarsely chop the mushrooms.
  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the leeks to the skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Coarsely chop the bacon and transfer it to a large bowl. Add the leeks, bread, mushrooms, cheese, parsley, thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. In a small bowl, whisk the cream, eggs, and the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, and pour over the bread mixture. Toss well, let sit for 5 minutes, and toss again. cover and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

Wrap the beef

  • Pat the tenderloin dry and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Lay some plastic wrap on a work surface so that it measures at least 20×20 inches; overlap a couple of pieces of plastic wrap as needed. Put parchment paper at least the length of the tenderloin over the plastic wrap and spray it with cooking spray or lightly oil it. Press the stuffing mixture over the parchment into a rectangle measuring about 12×14 inches.
  • Position the beef in the center of the stuffing. Lift the plastic to wrap the parchment and stuffing around the beef, rolling it like a sushi roll and encasing the beef completely. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap, twisting the excess plastic on each end to compress the roast. Tuck the twists under the roast to keep snug. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Longer is better as it helps everything to firm up.

Start the sauce

  • Combine the vinegar, wine, shallot, bay leaf, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by nearly half, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside. The sauce may be made up to this point 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.

Roast the beef and finish the sauce

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375°F. Line a roasting pan with parchment and set a rack in it. Unwrap the plastic from the beef but leave the parchment on. Tie the roast with butcher’s twine in about 5 even intervals. Place the roast on the rack. Roast to medium rare (125°F), about 60 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes. (If meat is bulging in the center, put a kitchen towel over it and gently press on the roll to reshape it.)
  • Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and gently reheat the sauce over low heat. Swirl in the cold butter just until it melts to thicken the sauce. Remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Trim any uneven edges of the roast. Slice the roast through the parchment with a very sharp knife (serrated works well here) into thick slices, removing the twine as you go. The pieces may crumble a bit, so you may need to reassemble them on the serving plates or platter. Remove the parchment and serve with the sauce, garnished with the parsley.


For best results, be sure the chain, the thin piece of meat and fat that runs along the length of the tenderloin,
is removed. You can remove it yourself at home while trimming or ask the butcher to do it for you.


Rate or Review

Reviews (10 reviews)

  • lccasey67 | 12/27/2019

    This I made last Christmas (did the parmesan crust this year). Had to say it was a showstopper. Lots of work but it was 110% worth it, would do it again in a heartbeat. My family thought it was the best Christmas meal we ever had and it actually come out like the photo (due to very careful slicing with a super sharp knife and my husband's hands on the crust). I think I made two (we have about 21 people at dinner). Highly recommended.

  • JBate | 12/08/2019

    Everything about this recipe was perfect! Used a Costco tenderloin and all ingredients exactly as suggested. Cooking time at 1 hr was exactly at 125*—a perfect medium rare throughout. The stuffing was delicious, slicing was a little messy but we were able to push a couple of stray pieces back in place. Kept the tenderloin prepped in the fridge for 24 hrs before serving.

  • PlantQueen | 09/08/2019

    This was a delicious meal. I prepared a half recipe. Didn't have dry mushrooms or leeks so used cremini and shallots and sauteed. Since I didn't have the mushroom broth used concentrated beef broth and halved the water addition, shallots, thyme, and parsley and simmered for 15 minutes. Instead of poultry eggs with the cream i used 2 quail eggs. All in all the prep was not that excruciating and when it came to cutting slices were just like in the photo in the magazine. For a side veggie I did a roasted sheet pan combo of yellow beets, sweet potatoes, quartered large red onion, and brussel sprouts tossed in a olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, aleppo pepper marinade.

  • CAFTBS | 02/20/2019

    Tried this recepie twice, just to be sure. Tasted great. Never ‘looked’ the way it was supposed to. Won’t try this again...

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