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