To make the brine: Put the water in a large bowl and stir in the salt and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the ice cubes and cool the mixture to at least 45 degrees F. Submerge the pork chops in the brine. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 4. Remove the pork chops from the brine, pat dry, and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator until ready to cook.
To make the gravy: In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, breaking it up with a spatula or fork. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and discard. Reserve the fat in a cup for cooking chops.
Sprinkle the flour over the cooked sausage in the skillet; stir to coat. Gradually stir in the half-and-half, nutmeg and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add more half-and-half if the sauce becomes too thick. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cover the skillet and set aside while you cook the chops.
Sprinkle the chops generously with pepper. Dredge then in the flour, shaking off excess. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the reserved fat plus additional oil to a depth of 1/8-inch over medium-high heat. Put the chops in the pan, as many as will fit without crowding, and fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. If you're cooking more than one batch of chops, keep the fried chops warm in a preheated 250 degrees F oven.
To serve, put 1 chop on each diner's plate (you will have 2 remaining for second helpings) and spoon the gravy over them. Serve extra gravy on the side to pour biscuits or grits.
Recipe courtesy of Bruce Aidells, Complete Book of Pork, HarperCollins, 2004