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Christmas pork ribs 

Ribbe .
Photo: Mari Svenningsen /
Ribbe .
Photo: Mari Svenningsen /

The sound of a knife slicing through a crisp and soft rind is mouthwatering.

Ribbe .
Photo: Mari Svenningsen /
Ribbe .
Photo: Mari Svenningsen /

Ribbe, Norwegian pork ribs, is above all characterised by its rind, and the battle to secure the crispiest rind is a serious business. 

Ribbe, Christmas dinner .
Ribbe, Christmas dinner .

Once someone has secured it, everyone can sit down, relax and enjoy.

In Norway, Ribbe, served with traditional side dishes, is one of the most popular meals on Christmas Eve.

Christmas dinner .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen /
Christmas dinner .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen /

And true to tradition, it's often accompanied by medisterkaker (Christmas meatballs made from pork), sosisser (Christmas sausage), red cabbage, and boiled or mashed potatoes.

Ribbe, Christmas dinner .
Photo: Alexander Benjaminsen /
Ribbe, Christmas dinner .
Photo: Alexander Benjaminsen /

Ribbe (Christmas Pork Ribs) 


(4 servings)

2 kg pork belly on the bone

3 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

2 dl water


Christmas gravy


2.5 tbsp butter

2.5 tbsp flour

500 ml beef stock (diluted)

¼ orange, sliced into wedges

¼ apple, sliced into wedges

5 prunes

2 whole cloves

1 pinch ground allspice 

750 ml Norwegian Christmas beer, or another dark ale

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper

1 drop caramel colouring



1. Melt butter. Once the butter has stopped bubbling, add flour and mix well. Brown the mixture until it gets a nut-brown colour. Stir continuously. 

2. Pour in hot stock a little at a time, stirring well between each time you pour. 

3. Slice the orange and apple into wedges. Add to the gravy together with prunes, whole cloves, allspice, and Christmas beer (or some other dark beer). Simmer for approx. 20 minutes.

4. Filter the gravy through a colander and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust the colour by adding a few drops of caramel colouring. 

To add an extra delicious flavour to the gravy, add some dripping from your roast, turkey, or pork ribs.  Boil the sauce for a few minutes more until you have a rich, thick sauce. Whisk in a tablespoon of cold butter before serving, if you like, for a lustrous, tasty gravy. 

A delicious taste of Christmas, ready to serve!

To add your own “touch” to the Christmas gravy, you can add mustard, garlic, herbs, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, star anise, syrup, or other ingredients you like which have a taste that fits your main ingredient. 

Red cabbage


750 g red cabbage

2 apples 

1 tsp salt

250 ml beef stock

2 tsp vinegar, 7 %

2 tsp sugar



1. Slice the cabbage thinly and cut the apples into wedges.

2. Place the cabbage and apple in layers in a pot, together with salt. 

3. Add beef stock and vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for approx. 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and add sugar to taste towards the end of the simmering time. 

4. You now have delicious homemade red cabbage that is ready to serve.  

5. (Optional) Stir in a little dripping from traditional Norwegian Christmas pork roast before serving for an extra delicious taste. A few tablespoons of redcurrant jelly can also be very tasty.

You can also sample Norwegian pork ribs in many restaurants if you visit one of Norway's top Christmas destinations.

Christmas in Røros .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug /
Christmas shopping in Røros .
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug /

The taste of Norwegian Christmas

Christmas traditions in Norway are as varied as the country itself. Here are some of the tastiest Norwegian holiday treats.

Christmas the Norwegian way

Read up on everything Norwegians do and eat during the holiday season.

More delicious recipes

Make traditional Norwegian waffles, kjøttkaker, or other Norwegian culinary delights. 

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