Thin pieces of pan-fried pork tenderloin rest on top of caramelized onions, melted brie cheese and crusty bread.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you choose to brine the pork, let the pork brine for about 1 hour per pound of meat.