Greg Gunthorp is a fourth-generation farmer in LaGrange, Indiana, just a few miles from the Michigan border. Growing up, his favorite chore on the farm was looking after the pigs, and he knew that he wanted to keep raising them his whole life. But about twenty years ago, it became clear that raising pigs for the conventional market was not economically feasible. Rather than throwing in the towel, Greg decided to switch his farm over to raising heritage breed Duroc pigs, and to build his own processing facility on site.
Duroc pigs aren't the easiest to raise, but Greg prefers them for the deep, rich flavor of the pork. (Greg's not alone—master bacon maker Allan Benton prefers the flavor of Duroc pork for his cured meats, too.) Greg's pigs spend their whole lives out in his woods and pastures, rooting for nuts, roots, and greenery. They’re never given hormones, subtherapeutic antibiotics, or any other growth promotants.
These pork chops are huge—each tips the scale at over a pound. They're cut like a porterhouse steak, with the bone in. They're very juicy, with a particularly porky flavor.
Chops ship frozen, though they may thaw and be cold, not hard, when they arrive. They come two to a pack. Because they’re thick they are best cooked using a temperature probe. The USDA recommends cooking to 160, but that’s well done and, in my mind, a shame for this quality of pork. I like medium rare to medium, 140 to 145. I've grilled them and cooked them in a pan and, in part because the grill is technically more difficult, I lean toward cooking them in a pan. Get it very hot, add oil, and cook them a few minutes on each side. They'll brown beautifully. Then put the pan in a 400 degree oven. Don't flip them again. Probe regularly until you get the temperature you're looking for.