How Much Tenderloin for a Christmas Feast?

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I am cooking a beef tenderloin for my Christmas meal. How much meat should I plan per person? There will be 12 adults.

  According the US Department of Agriculture's soon-to-be-revised Food Pyramid, a serving of meat consists of two to three ounces. So if you're inviting a dozen USDA employees to your holiday meal, you can get away with 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of meat — or half of a pretty small tenderloin.

Portion size is actually a very important issue these days, but a holiday feast may not be the time for you to be a Scrooge or for us to start a long-winded lecture on overeating.

We would prepare six to eight ounces per person. No one should eat a half a pound of beef at one sitting, but as long as it's available, your guests will feel very well cared for and you will feel like a very gracious host (as long as you can comfortably afford it). And, assuming your guests have other dishes to round out the meal (from other sections of the Food Pyramid), you should wind up with a small feast of leftover tenderloin for sandwiches and midnight snacks.

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