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25 Jan

Buttermilk Marinated Pork Chops

Buttermilk Pork ChopsButtermilk is a marinade that pork responds to beautifully. Soak pork chops in buttermilk and the meat will stay juicy and tender, even if you overcook it just a bit. Overcooking a pork chop is easy to do. One minute it’s red and juicy and the next minute it’s tough and chewy. So if you tolerate dairy and hate a dry chop, then buttermilk can be your go-to marinade for pork (it works well for chicken too).

A buttermilk marinade is especially helpful when cooking thin, boneless chops. You know, the ones that curl up around the edges and usually have the texture of a rubber tire. But even thick succulent pork chops with a flavorful bone holding the meat together can benefit from a soak. It’s some combination of the buttermilk’s mild acidity and calcium content that works the tenderizing magic.

This recipe for buttermilk marinated pork chops uses a plain buttermilk marinade then flavors the meat with a rich caper and parsley sauce. You can also add seasonings to the buttermilk, making the marinade more flavorful. Throw the buttermilk in a blender with garlic, fresh herbs, or your favorite spices.

Servings: 2

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes plus 4+ hours to marinate


  • 2 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick bone-in pork chops
  • 1 cup buttermilk (240 ml)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (240 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained (25 g)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (15 ml)
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (30 g)
  • Salt and Pepper


Soak pork chops in buttermilk for 4 hours or overnight.


Thirty minutes before cooking, drain buttermilk from the chops. Pat the chops dry and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 425° F (218 °C).

In an ovenproof skillet over high heat, brown one side of the pork chops for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the chops and put the skillet in the oven. Roast until the center of each pork chop reads 135 to 140 °F, (57 to 60 °C) about 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 2

Remove the pork chops from the skillet.

Set the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the stock to the skillet. Boil for five minutes, scraping up any bits of meat on the bottom of the pan. The liquid should reduce by half.

Stir the capers, parsley and butter into the sauce.

Step 3

Boil 3 minutes more, until the sauce has a deep brown color and syrupy texture. Serve immediately over the pork chops.

Buttermilk Pork Chops

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Capers? Sounds like a good Sunday dinner to me!
    I was wondering if buttermilk would make carnitas even better….. or not. One way to find out I guess.

    2Rae wrote on January 25th, 2014
  2. This sounds terrific. One of my biggest complaints with pork chops is that they are often dry and tough, no matter how gently they are cooked.

    Shary wrote on January 25th, 2014
    • This is why pork and other meats need to be mechanically tenderized. Norpro makes good meat tenderizers with spikes.

      Def. recommend poking the heck out of your chop or steak before cooking :)

      paleocrushmom wrote on January 25th, 2014
  3. This couldn’t have come at a better time! I just got a half a pig and now my deep freezer is full. Can I get a recipe for smoked jowl next? ROFL!

    Tamara (new orleans) wrote on January 25th, 2014
  4. This recipe certainly sounds better than baking them with a can of cream of chicken soup poured over them, which my family likes. :p I’m going to make these!

    granny gibson wrote on January 25th, 2014
  5. This recipe sounds delicious!! Anyone have any idea if plain Kefir could be substituted for the buttermilk? I’ve got everything on hand, except for the buttermilk. Thanks :)

    Nicole wrote on January 25th, 2014
    • I was thinking the same thing =) Can’t see why not though. Buttermilk and kefir are very similar products. It should work fine.

      Andreas wrote on January 25th, 2014
  6. You can make buttermilk by adding lemon juice to milk

    Susan wrote on January 25th, 2014
  7. Great timing. I have both 50 kg organic, free range pork raised by my neighbour and 4 liters of homemade kefir ready! + a big jar of capers I just found in the back of a kitchen drawer =). Rest of the ingredients are staples.

    Bulk cooking here I come!

    Andreas wrote on January 25th, 2014
  8. The key is the cast iron skillet…

    Gary Deagle wrote on January 26th, 2014
  9. Yum

    bjjcaveman wrote on January 26th, 2014
  10. This looks fantastic, will have to add pork chops to my shopping list!

    Jim wrote on January 26th, 2014
  11. I didn’t realize buttermilk was a Paleo option. I don’t like pork very much at all, but I’ll keep this in mind the next time a family member says they’re making pork chops.

    Camille wrote on January 26th, 2014
  12. I cooked this recipe last night. I had fresh basil leftover from the night before so I used it in place of the parsley. I also threw in some mushrooms. I used a cast iron skillet. It was very tasty. Thanks for a great recipe!

    Stephanie Herzfeld wrote on January 27th, 2014
  13. Pork is amazing! This looks delicious.

    John B wrote on January 27th, 2014
  14. Great recipe! I like pork chops and I always have buttermilk in my fridge. Didn’t know I can combine two together. Thank you

    Kathryn Mayer wrote on January 29th, 2014
  15. Just made your buttermilk marinated pork chops with New Mexico green chile sauce (Instead of capers and parsley) with your swiss chard fritters. AWESOME!

    Carolynn wrote on January 29th, 2014
  16. Uuuuuum, buttermilk… Last time I checked that was dairy… There’s no dairy on the paleo diet…

    Heather wrote on February 10th, 2014
  17. This is a Primal recipe, not a Paleo, and dairy is allowed on Primal :)

    Shelley wrote on February 10th, 2014
  18. We made this last night with a side of brussel sprouts. We ate the sprouts while I cooked the chops. I tossed the sprouts in some coconut aminos and balsamic vinegar then melted butter before baking them in the oven. Oh yeah, we’re doing that again only with MORE sprouts. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

    2Rae wrote on February 13th, 2014
  19. I made these the day after this article came out. Holy crap were they delicious! We paired them with an arugula salad (my favorite green – I hate greens). My partner claims to hate capers, but he sure seemed to not mind these badboys.

    This mean is uber simple, uber tasty, and makes great leftovers. I can’t wait to make it for my folks next time I see them!

    Dev wrote on February 19th, 2014

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