2 pounds pork loin chops (bone-in or boneless)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper , to taste
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or fresh thyme)
1/4 cup dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
additional fresh cracked black pepper and salt to taste
OPTIONAL - TO THICKEN FINAL SAUCE
1-2 Tablespoons butter , to thicken sauce
1-2 Tablespoons flour , to thicken sauce
Preheat oven to 400°.
Wash and pat dry pork chops. Season both sides of pork chops with ground cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
In a large oven proof skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on medium high heat. Sear both sides of the pork chops until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove pork chops from pan and set aside.
In the same skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bay leaf, milk, thyme, dijon mustard, and lemon zest. Stir to combine all ingredients. Bring liquid to a low simmer. Taste the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place pork chops back into the skillet and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake the pork chops for about 15-30 minutes or until fully cooked and to your desired tenderness. (Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your pork chops).
After pork chops are cooked, serve with the milk-mustard sauce. Garnish with extra thyme.
(Optional) If you want to make a delicious and thicker gravy out of the sauce, then remove the pork from the pan. Heat up the pan of milk sauce again to a low simmer. Whisk in a tablespoon or two butter and flour until all flour clumps are removed. Sauce will get thicker as it cooks. Once gravy is thick and creamy, remove from heat and serve immediately.