Recipes > Tapas-Style Pork Tenderloin

Tapas Style Pork Tenderloin


Thin pieces of pan-fried pork tenderloin rest on top of caramelized onions, melted brie cheese and crusty bread.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 73,956
  • Success Rating: 88% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Brining the Pork (optional)

Brining the Pork (optional)
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt ( or 1/4 cup table salt)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 cups COLD water
  • 2 tsp juniper berries
  • 1 tsp black or white peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pork tenderloin


To make the brine, mix together the salt, sugar and hot water. Add the herbs, spices and smashed garlic. Let this sit and infuse for about 10 minutes. Pour the brine into a suitable-sized container, along with the cold water.

Before placing the pork into the brine, be sure to remove the silver skin and any excess fat. Place the pork into the brine, making sure it is fully covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Step 2: Preparing Your Mise en Place

Preparing Your Mise en Place
  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Rouxbe's Caramelized Onions
  • 8 to 12 oz brie cheese


To prepare your mise en place, slice the bread on a slight angle into about 1/4" -inch pieces. Place the bread onto a baking tray and set aside for later.

Gather the caramelized onions and set aside. Make sure the brie is really cold (it will be easier to cut), and slice it into about 2" -inch pieces, about 1/4" -inch thick.

Transfer the cheese to a plate, separating each piece slightly so they don’t stick together. Place the brie back into the refrigerator, while you prepare the pork.

Step 3: Preparing the Pork

Preparing the Pork
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


To prepare the pork, first remove it from the brine and brush off the spices. Pat it dry and discard the brine.

Slice the tenderloin straight across into medallions, about a 1/2" -inch thick. Using a small, heavy fry pan (or a mallet), flatten each piece out slightly. Lay the pieces of pork on the cutting board and just before cooking, season both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Step 4: Cooking and Assembling

Cooking and Assembling
  • fleur de sel (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter


To start cooking, preheat the oven to broil. Toast the bread for a minute or so, keeping a close eye on it. Once lightly toasted, spread about a teaspoon of the caramelized onions over top. Cover with a slice of brie and set aside while you cook the pork.

To cook the pork, preheat a large, fry pan to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and butter and let melt. Lay the pork in a single layer and cook it only for about a minute or so, just until you start to see a bit of white around the edge. Then flip it over and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute. Pork can be served with a tiny bit of pink in the middle. Keep in mind that the pork will continue to cook even after it has been removed from the heat. Transfer to a tray to rest, while you cook the second batch.

While all the pork is resting, place the bread back into the oven for about 30 seconds to a minute, just to slightly melt the cheese.

Lastly, place a piece of pork on top of the cheese, first coating it with the juices that are on the resting tray. The juices will give the meat a nice shine. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of fleur de sel, if desired, and serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

If you choose to brine the pork, let the pork brine for about 1 hour per pound of meat.


  • Jenny G
    Jenny G
    I've made this recipe 3 times already and I've loved it each and every time. I know I know, how did I manage to make it 3 times when it just came today? Well, I actually edited this recipe ;) and I'm happy I did 'cause I memorized it and I can make them now in no time and it's simply delicious. Easy, fast, perfect for a Friday night with a good glass of wine.
  • Liz S
    Liz S
    This combination for an appetizer is very different but really works. I toasted the baguettes and put on the onions and cheese 2 hours before serving and did the pork last minute. I didn't add salt at the end because I had already brined it, and put salt on both sides of the pork before cooking and that seemed plenty for our tastes. This is a very substantial appetizer - it served 6 for us. Another winner:)
  • Gregory C
    Gregory C
    Even though my first attempt at caramelized onions wasn't that great (heat too low, not enough moisture driven out, not enough color), this tasted great! I've used this as an inspiration for picnic/summer night concert food: hot dogs! Imagine a French roll (smeared with Dijon mustard if you like), grilled pork bratwurst, brie and caramelized onions... I did a test drive on Friday night and it really works!
  • Linda C
    Linda C
    I made this last night for a dinner party we were having, and it was a big hit. Not one person left even a scrap! I tested it on my husband the night before, so I was confident it would be a hit, but everyone really loved it more than even I anticipated. Even got in a plug for Rouxbe, they couldn't believe such a site existed for cooking enthusiasts!
  • Joseph R
    Joseph R
    I have not tried this recipe yet, though it looks wonderful. I got to thinking though, instead of the caramelized onions what if you used a pear chutney. Seems that would be an excellent flavor combination. Any thoughts?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Pear and Pork are definitely friends! In fact all three - brie, pork, and pears are friends, so that sounds like a winning combo. Let me know how it turns out when you try it.
  • Joseph R
    Joseph R
    Well last night I tried my alternative idea. Except I thought I had pears, and did not. I made aa apple and dried cranberry chutney, and used that. It was very good, and I will be keeping this appetizer recipe handy.
  • Summer P
    Summer P
    It sounds like several people have made this recipe as an appetizer. I was just wondering what you served as the other courses along with it. I am planning my menu for a dinner party I'm hosting. I want to serve it as the appetizer but don't want it to be too much. Does anyone have suggestions for what main courses pair well with this dish? Good wine pairing suggestions would be nice as well.
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    Here's what I'd do and have done before: 1st: Belgian Endive - (serve as finger food pass around-style (french tacos we call them) 2nd: Tapas-Style Pork Tenderloin - 3rd: Cod Provencal - (just make a slightly smaller portion of everything (serve with the Middle Eastern Couscous). 4th: Panna Cotta with Stone Fruit Compote - I'll have to leave it up to our wine experts to pair.
  • Joe G
    Joe G (amazing this time of year). Can be done ahead just like the panna cotta
  • Patrick O
    Patrick O
    Hi Summer, I've made this dish a couple of times and its great and Joe's menu idea would be fantastic. FWIW, I would lean towards the berry tart for dessert tho....:-). A general rule to pairing is white before red, dry before sweet so I would switch the pork and Cod order but it’s entirely up to you, now lets get started. For the Endive salad, you could combine this with your reception wine and a dry, white sparkler would fit the bill nicely. There are many fine examples and it doesn't have to be Champagne unless that's what you want of course! As this is anything but your average boring salad, you'll need something to stand up to the intensity of the cheese and the sweetness of the dates. Bubbles are great for this type of thing as they refresh your palate with every sip. Otherwise, any bright, acidic, well chilled white wine will fit the bill. A Spanish Albariño or Sauvignon Blanc (un-oaked) would work nicely. For the Cod Provencal, a medium bodied white such as a un-oaked (or slightly oaked) Chardonnay would work well but a nice dry, well chilled Rose would be a fun option as well. The challenge here isn't so much the fish as it's the full flavours of the Ragu. If you turn up the heat in the dish much more, it would be better to go with a medium bodied off-dry white such a Vouvray or new world Riesling/Pinot Gris as they stand up to spice somewhat better than the Chardonnay. The pork tenderloin is the easiest pairing in the menu. The different flavours are well balance which makes it easy. Pinot Noir/Gamay Noir would be my first choice as they are both very Pork and Brie friendly. The trick here is complimenting the food’s intensity so a lighter, slightly chilled, red wine is the winner. A few other options would include Chianti Classico, and a Spanish Rioja. Just stick to the lighter styles with a bit of acidity and you can't go wrong. So we've finally made it to dessert, my favorite part! If at this point you're still interested in more wine, fruit desserts are among the best to pair with sweeties. For fruits, custards, pastries, etc, my recommendation lies with sweet white dessert wines, still or sparkling. You'll want something that offers rich stone-fruit and pear nectar flavours. There are many options but my favourite examples are the ones made from Vidal, Riesling, Muscat, and Semillon and they come from all over the globe. A particular favourite is from Australia and it's called Noble One. This wine also offers a slight spicy note which comes from the Noble Rot (Botrytis Cinerea) the winemaker encourages to grow on the grapes. The finest dessert wines in the world (Sauternes) are made this way. These wine are simply amazing with fruit desserts and custards. For fruity and custard desserts like the ones mentioned by Joe, stay away from Fortified wines (Port, Sherry, etc) as they are more suited to nuts and strong cheese. So there you go, it looks like good times ahead! Have a great party! Cheers!
  • Jenny G
    Jenny G
    I've made this recipe many many times now but I've never brined the pork 'cause I thought it was too much work and I always make it in a hurry. Well last week I had a little bit of time before our friends arrived for a movie and delicious Tapas so I decided to give the brining a try ... the only thing I can say is WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I would've never thought that it actually makes a HUGE difference. The pork was so moist and soft and flavorful and... . From now on I'm always going to take the time to brine ... everything! haha I mean, making the brine took me less than 10 minutes and then you just put it on the fridge for a couple of hours and that's it. Oh but I have to say that I brined two pieces of pork and only used one for the Tapas so I left the other one brining for the next day and ... big mistake. Two hours is more than enough, 1 day is way too much. The pork sucked all the salt and it was impossible to eat =( but now I know and won't make that mistake again.
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    Brining overnight is okay for larger pieces of meat, like if you were doing a large turkey. We do this for turkey all the time: But for smaller pieces, Chad and Jenny are right.... 2 to 3 hours is sufficient. Thanks for the note.
  • Irene S
    Irene S
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    What kind did we use? If so, we used Kosher salt, Diamond Crystal Brand. If you do not have this then you can substitute with half the amount of table salt. I hope this answers your question...if it was a question :-)
  • Miranda M
    Miranda M
    This is a great recipe, we've made this a couple of times now. Tonight when I went for the carmelized onions I found that they had been thrown out. I had in the freezer some of the filling we use for Pommes Anna (prunes reconstituded in chicken stock and then chopped very fine with shallots and fluer de sel). Spread it over the bread in the place of the onions, it worked great.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Yum! Sounds like your recipe for Pommes Anna needs to go into the test sounds really nice. If you ever want to add it to the test kitchen here is the link to add your recipe. Thanks!
  • Rakesh C
    Rakesh C
    Melted Brie is not as good as cold brie with grapes or strawberries. Without cheese taste was barely bearable.
  • Julie N
    Julie N
    I try and follow a recipe by the book the first time I make it, unless it has something I absolutely HATE OR AM ALLERGIC to in it. This seemed like I couldn't really botch it up too much, so I gave it a go. I brined the pork, caramelized the onions, toasted the bread lightly, and slightly melted the Brie (one of my favorite cheeses) and everyone thought it was lovely. I used it as a substitute-main with multiple veggies (asparagus and beets) and dessert (fresh strawberries with whip cream). I think my guests where quite happy, I know I was very pleased. If it hadn't been so humid I might have picked a "real" main course, but I needed something very light tonight. Thanks a bunch for a terrific recipe.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    I made something similar to this last night but skipped the baguette. As the pork was resting, I added about 3/4 cup of caramelized onions to the pan. Once heated through, I turned off the heat and crumbled some cambozola cheese over top just to melt slightly. I spooned this thick sauce over the slices of pork and served it with some brown rice and a salad. Delish!
  • Bob G
    Bob G
    I have not made this yet, it looks fabulous. Is there a reason to use non-stick vs. stainless?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    No reason really, you can use a stainless steel pan. And is delicious :-)
  • Mandy K
    Mandy K
    Are we supposed to use fresh or dried juniper berries in the brine?
  • Julie N
    Julie N
    Co dos to you! It didn't even occur to me to use fresh juniper berries. I don't think I've ever seen them in any of the specialty stores I've shopped at. I love that thought. I'm sure it would increase the essence of the dish. I bet I could find them on-line, but not until I come back from Europe, if I get there, with this Icelandic volcano thing going on. We'll see. If I don't go, maybe I can find them in one of my favorite specialty stores in Montreal, and experiment on my sweetie. Just an idea, thanks for it! I really appreciate the turn on....
  • Cancelled
    I took this as a main dish to a dinner party tonight and it was a huge hit! The only item I skipped was the juniper berries. I couldn't find any at the local stores. I thought about adding a little Tanqueray gin to the brine instead, but didn't. Since I had to travel before final plating, I had each item, pork, brie, toasted baguette and caramelized onions ready. I warmed it in the oven prior and it came out great! Very flavorful! And fun to prep and make. I will definitely make this again. Thanks Rouxbe!
  • Heather B
    Heather B
    I don't eat pork, but this recipe sounds delicious! Pork is often referred to as "The Other White Meat" so would substituting chicken work?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Sure, you can certainly give chicken breasts a try as all of these flavors would go well together. Since chicken breasts are smaller than a pork tenderloin, brine them for half the time. Cheers!
  • Fern V
    Fern V
    I am hostess to my club and they want appetizers but this is not in my home. I have not served these at room temp or cooler what is your take on this is it workable or do I need to rethink? Fern Vitense.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Making this dish ahead and serving it room temperature is not recommended as it's the combination of the hot cheese and tender and juicy meat that makes this dish so wonderful. I would rethink it. You may want to just make something else or perhaps see if you could borrow the oven and a burner for last minute cooking. Cheers!
  • Bernadette J
    Bernadette J
    This is the first receipe I've tried from Rouxbe and my frist lesson Seasoning with Salt. My husband loved it. It was delish!. Couldn't find the Juniper Berries so I did not include them, still great without them.

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