Ribbe & Norwegian Christmas Cabbage


In modern Norway, this meal is one of the traditional Christmas dinners (right up there with lamb roast).   After I did some research I contacted my niece’s husband who grew up with a very traditional Norwegian mom.  When I asked him about the ribbe, he had never heard of it.  Some families still eat the traditional foods passed down from many generations – some from the great famine.  Pork and cabbage would have been a luxury.  The foods he said he ate were lutefisk (dried and reconstituted cod), ruspekake (a potato dumpling), and lefse (a really good flatbread).  My niece makes lefse and I haven’t tried my hand at it, but I know it’s great.   Well, with this info in hand, I decided to try the dumplings.  Disaster!!  So maybe next year I’ll share ruspekake and lefse – but for this Christmas, it’s this amazingly delicious pork rib!

Let’s start with the Ribbe –

What you need:

  • 4 to 4 ½ pounds of pork ribs (not spare ribs – I used a pork rib roast)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • ¾ cup water

How to Do it:

Cut the fat into a hatch pattern on the back of the roast.

Rub the salt and pepper into the fat.  Place the roast so that is sits evenly in the pan, propping with foil if necessary.  You want to make sure the fat is sitting even and not draining off into the pan while cooking.  Cover the roast and refrigerate for a day – or even two.

Remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Pour the water into the pan with the pork and recover with foil.

Place the roast, still covered with foil, and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil, reduce the heat to 375, and continue to cook for an hour and a half.  Remove from the heat and let rest for 20 minutes (this is when I make the cabbage).

When the roast has set, cut into serving sized pieces.  If you have larger bones, as I did, you can carefully remove them, but try to keep the crispy fat attached to the meat.

Makes about 6 servings
And while it’s cooking – here is the cabbage recipe:

What you need:

  • 1 head of cabbage cut into large shreds
  • 8-10 slices of bacon cut into large squares  (hunter bacon is great too)
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed

How to Do it:


Place all the ingredients into a large skillet or sauce pan, layering the bacon and cabbage.

Bring the water to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for about 20-30 minutes, until the cabbage is very tender.


Drain off the water and serve.


Makes about 6 servings


god jul

© Copyright 2016 The Lazy Gastronome


This entry was posted in Cabbage, Christmas, Fruits and Vegetables, Holidays, Main dish, Norwegian, pork and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ribbe & Norwegian Christmas Cabbage

  1. This sounds amazing! Our favorite meat is pork plus we love our cabbage so this is right up our alley! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us at Funtastic Friday!

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