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Buttermilk pork with green pepper sauce

by paddock2pixel

Disclaimer: In December 2019, I was commissioned to develop a variety of recipes for Dairy Australia. This is one of them, featuring the use of milk. Styling and photography by me. Both the recipe and the photo is now property of Dairy Australia, however I was given permission to publish them on my website. © Dairy Australia. All rights reserved.

Have you ever cooked with buttermilk, other than adding it to your pancake batter? The slight acid in the liquid makes it perfect for marinating meat in it, making it super tender!

I rarely cook meat, but when I do, it needs to be juicy and delicious. Especially pork fillet can be so dry and tough when cooked too long, I often don’t bother. I first marinated my pork fillet for only 4 hours, which was pretty good, but the real results came when I tried it for 24 hours! Hm, now that’s what I’m talking about. Give the acid from the buttermilk lots of time to break down the muscle fibers.

If you have issues finding buttermilk, it’s so easy to make it yourself. Maybe not fancy enough to enjoy as a drink, but certainly works as a marinade. Just add lemon juice to some regular milk and let it curdle, voila! See my tip in the recipe below.

Don’t like pork? No problem. Try it with beef. Or chicken? Let me know how you like it!

A note on the sauce

You can of course make any creamy sauce to go with the pork by using, well, cream. But given that I wanted to highlight milk with this recipe, the peppercorn sauce is made from a roux and milk. Add that little bit of cheddar and you have a creamy but sharp, soft by spicy sauce that works so well with the tender pork. Bon appetit!

Buttermilk pork with green pepper sauce

Pork can easily be overcooked and dry, especially a lean cut like a fillet. Marinating it in buttermilk tenderises the meat, making it very mild and juicy. And not every white sauce has to be cream based; I am using regular milk here, but with a few simple tricks (and a bit of cheese!), a beautifully silky smooth sauce can be achieved.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Marinating Time1 day
Total Time1 day 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Western
Keyword: buttermilk, green pepper, milk, pork


  • 350 ml buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 pork fillet
  • 30 ml Extra virgin olive oil

Peppercorn sauce

  • 15 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 130 ml full cream milk warm
  • 60 ml vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons green peppercorns in brine
  • 25 g vintage cheddar grated
  • salt to taste


  • Marinade pork fillet in buttermilk, salt, pepper and mustard overnight, or better, for 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan forced 180°C). Take fillet out of the marinade and pad dry before searing it on all sides in olive oil in a hot cast iron skillet. Slide into the hot oven and roast for 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 65°C for a medium finish. Rest on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • For the peppercorn sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan on low heat. Gradually add flour and whisk to a paste. Make sure no flour lumps remain. Cook another 2 minutes before slowly pouring in warm milk. Keep stirring to combine.
  • Once smooth, add the stock, mustard and drained peppercorns. Simmer until the sauce covers the back of a spoon. If too thick, add more stock. At the last minute, stir in cheddar cheese until melted into the sauce. Season with salt.
  • Serve the fillet sliced with peppercorn sauce poured over the top.
  • Tip: Make a quick buttermilk by mixing 300ml of Australian milk with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Let it sit for 15 minutes to curdle, then use in lieu of store-bought buttermilk.

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