The humble pork chop receives a double upgrade of flavor and texture with this crunchy spiced pecan crust.
Pork chops are an economical and often overlooked cut. They seem to harbor an unfair reputation of being dry, but when cooked correctly they are moist and flavorful. The trick to cooking pork is to use a calibrated meat thermometer, so you can ensure you’re at a safe temperature of 145f internal, without taking it beyond this magic number and drying out the meat. I use and recommend a Thermapen thermometer.
The only trick to this recipe is keeping a keen eye on your skillet. The pecan crust demands your full attention, if only for a minute or two, to ensure the nuts do not start to burn.
Preheat oven to 350f and prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Prepare two shallow bowls or containers for breading the pork chops. Combine the pecans and breadcrumbs in one, then whisk together the milk and eggs in another.
Working one chop at a time, season on both sides with salt, then spread 1 tablespoon of mustard along one side. Dip the chop into the egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off, then transfer to pecan mixture. Press the pecans in firmly to form a crust. Repeat until all chops are crusted.
Place the oil into a skillet and heat over medium flame.
Fry the pork chops for a minute or two per side to develop color, being careful that the pecans do not burn. Place browned chops on sheet pan and put the pan into the oven to finish cooking the chops. You may have to complete this step in two batches depending on the size of your skillet.
The chops are done when they reach an internal temperature of 145f, which will take about 15 minutes depending on thickness.