Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time
30 Mins
Total Time
55 Mins
Yield
Serves 4

Pecans and pork, two iconic ingredients in Southern cooking, come together in this ingenious main dish. What makes this recipe feel both classic and contemporary is the delicious sauce made from beer—and not just any beer, but Abita beer, from a legendary Louisiana brewery. Abita was founded in 1986, years before the local craft-brewing craze took off across the South. This pork chop recipe came from chef Horst Pfeifer of Bella Luna restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter. He grew up in a small Bavarian farm town, so cooking with beer is second nature for him. Pfeifer combined dry mustard, celery salt, and pecans to create a memorable breading for pork chops. Serve them with your favorite vegetable and some crusty bread on the side for mopping up the rich, gravy-like sauce. Although Bella Luna was one of many culinary casualties of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Pfeifer now owns Middendorf’s Restaurant, an 84-year-old institution in Akers, Louisiana.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Beer Sauce: Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium; add onion, caraway seeds, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 4 minutes.

Step 2

Stir in beer, beef consommé, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Stir together cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth; add to beer mixture.

Step 4

Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and begins to thicken. Boil, stirring constantly, until thickened and glossy, 1 minute.

Step 5

Prepare Pork Chops: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine bread, dry mustard, celery salt, and pepper in a mini food processor; process until finely chopped. Add pecan pieces, and process until finely chopped; place mixture in a shallow bowl.

Step 6

Place flour in a second shallow bowl. Stir together eggs and milk in a third shallow bowl. Dredge pork chops in flour, shaking off excess. Dip chops in egg mixture and then in pecan mixture, coating all sides and shaking off excess.

Step 7

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high; add 2 chops, and cook until browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer chops to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 chops.

Step 8

Bake in preheated oven until a thermometer inserted into chops registers 145°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately with Beer Sauce.