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Monday, May 23, 2011

Tenderloin in a Bag (Pork or Beef)

My mom used to cater for a few years of her life...she did a BIG party once, where I helped out, and she served several awesome beef tenderloins...cooked in brown paper bags.  They were ooohed and ahhhed over by all!

I called her back in the early part of the year and asked if she had the recipe - I thought it would be an exceptionally good idea for our upcoming anniversary dinner back in February.  She called me back and left a message saying she had sent me a message on facebook with the recipe - had I gotten it?  I responded back - no message from mom.  Sometimes she forgets to hit send :-p  but she's 81, so who's pretty rock n roll that she's ON Facebook!

So, she called me and gave me what she remembered.  We talked about it a bit...and I think we have it down.  I told her I was hesitant to guinea pig this recipe with a whole beef tenderloin!!!  I thought, maybe I'd try it with a pork tenderloin and see how that does.

One problem might be finding a paper grocery bag!!!  I have a small supply from Central Market in Austin.  Check the specialty food stores, they might have brown paper bags!  Don't try to use a white bakery sack...too thin.  You need the old school brown grocery bags, heavier the better.  If they have handles on them, gently remove them.  We are fortunate to live close to Brownsville, a city that prohibits the use of plastic bags - so I got a paper bag from the Michael's store when I was there last and had forgotten to take in a reusable bag (I'm great at the grocery store - not so good about taking them into the non-grocery retail stores).

Mom doesn't remember bread crumbs...but I distinctly do remember bread that's what I'm trying.  So here goes! 

Adapted from Recipe by Mary Helen Culp


Two pork tenderloins or a beef tenderloin (or large portion of a beef tenderloin)
1 stick of softened butter - (not melted) to coat the tenderloin thoroughly. (more if you have a larger tenderloin and 1/2 stick if you are cooking just one pork tenderloin - and frankly I halved everything for one pork tenderloin which I was cooking today)
2 tablespoons of roughly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder (my addition)
1 teaspoon salt (my addition)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese - use sharp cheddar with beef (I was out of cheddar so used a colby jack instead - it worked fine!)
1 cup bread crumbs (my addition - I used some leftover multigrain sesame seed bread processed in my food processor)


Lay down a piece of wax paper - this is a messy job!
Coat tenderloin(s) with softened butter - use your hands - there's really no other good way to do it.

Combine pepper, salt, and garlic powder.

Sprinkle and press the seasonings into the butter on the tenderloin
Process the bread crumbs in the food processor

Combine the cheddar cheese and processed fresh bread crumbs

Press the bread crumb mixture firmly all over the tenderloin ensuring adherence

Put the tenderloin into a large paper grocery sack and fold the ends.

Secure with paper clips or staples.

Set one oven rack in the highest position and the other in the second from the bottom position.
Place sack on baking sheet and place baking sheet on bottom rack (the top rack ensures your bag doesn't accidentally touch the top heating element and catch on fire - that would be bad).

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 min for medium rare beef.
For medium doneness bake 15 min. more. Leave in bag for 5 minutes to rest.

May serve by placing the bag on a serving platter, cutting bag open and roll back each side. 

Cut a chunk for each person - the size of a filet mignon. 

This is a delicious and "different" way to serve tenderloin.  Your family or your guests will enjoy it!!! 

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!




  1. oh this looks great! thanks for sharing it and linking it up to Savory Sunday!!

  2. Love your blog!! I am definitely going to be your new follower :) I would love it if you followed me to @ that would be great :) I am just starting out, but I am excited to share new recipes, crafts, and makeup.. And Giving away giveaways on mineral make-up!

  3. Like your choice of sesame seed bread. So glad Mr. Food Processor created that device!

    Nice post!

  4. Wow, I'd be a little scared putting a paper bag in my oven, but it obviously works just fine! That looks really delicious and yet another reason to go eco-friendly with your bags.


  5. What an unusual recipe! Glad your mom still remembered. It would be a real novelty for a meal with friends or family. Looks delish!

  6. These look so yummy. Love your blog come and check out my blog

    Have a great day


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