Now Reading
Nordic Cuisine for the Home Cook – Buttermilk Marinade

Nordic Cuisine for the Home Cook – Buttermilk Marinade

The sourness of the buttermilk creates a “fresh” aroma in the meat. The combination with salt, honey and mustard enhances the natural flavour of the meat and improves the juiciness.
By Mia Irene Kristensen

Spring food is usually a celebration of all the fresh, new, green ingredients, that winter has been keeping from us. Some of the first greens ready for foraging is the herbs, primarily ramson also called wild garlic. The more bulky vegetables are taking their time, so start with spicing up the food with all the new flavours of the spring from the young herbs.

One more thing that certainly is in season right now is meat – but not all types of meat. Have you ever considered the seasonality in meat ?

With the modern production systems seasonality of meat is totally lost, only the few specialities such as game and goat meat is still available certain times of the year. High quality takes time developing, both in the meat- and the vegetable production.

My favorite producer of lamb and goat meat has her animals on grass all summer long, which contributes to a low growth rate. As a result of that, she’s sometimes out of meat at certain times of the year, wainting for the next herd to be ready for slaugther. So with that being said, why not celebrate the meat of the season. We already do that in the fall, serving game meat in different variations…
Go to your local butcher and ask for the meat in season, it might be goat, might be mutton – if you’re in doubt go for an organic chicken with a slaughter age at ~80days, they’re quite easy to get.
When the flavours have been boosted through the long production it’s such a shame to drown the taste by introducing strong flavour, especially when we desire lightness and freshness in the spring dishes.

Try this buttermilk marinade instead of the ordinary redwine or spicy curry paste. The mild buttermilk together with the herbs, honey and salt enhances the natural flavour of the meat. At the same time the marinade improves the juiciness, leaving you with a lovely and even better experience .
Use whatever spring herbs you can get hold of, try lemon balm or wild thyme for rabbit or chicken and the “stronger” herbs, ramson and sage for the red meat types – its perfect with lamb, beef or goat meat. As with all delicious slow food it needs time, so dont cut down on the 48 hours – if you have the time, even prolong it. When finished marinating, cook your meat in the same way you normally would.

Try it! – Maybe as a part of the Easter meal!

See Also
Heirloom Tomato and Cheddar Pie with Buttermilk Crust


Nordic Cuisine for the home cook – Buttermilk marinade

The sourness of the buttermilk creates a “fresh” aroma in the meat. The combination with salt, honey and mustard enhances the natural flavour of the meat and improves the juicyness!

  • Author: Mia Irene Kristensen
  • Prep Time: 48 hours
  • Total Time: 48 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 500ml buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. chopped spring herbs (e.g. lemon thyme, thyme or fresh ramson)
  • 1 tsp. wholegrain mustard
  • ½1 kg lean meat (e.g. chicken breast, leg of rabbit, leg of goat/lamb/mutton, beef sirloin)


  1. Pour the buttermilk into a sealable container (big enough for both meat and marinade).
  2. Stir in the salt, honey, herbs and mustard.
  3. Soak the meat in the mixture and leave to marinate for 48 hours. Turn the meat after 24 hours.
  4. Cook the meat the exact way you normally cook it (e.g. roasting, grilling, frying or braising).Remove excess marinade before pan-frying.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!



View Comments (5)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

Scroll To Top