The sound of a knife slicing through a crisp and soft rind is mouthwatering.
Ribbe, Norwegian pork ribs, is above all characterised by its rind, and the battle to secure the crispiest rind is a serious business.
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.
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.
2 kg pork belly on the bone
3 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 dl water
1. Slice through the rind and a little down into the fat using a sharp, pointed knife. If you slice in squares parallel to the ribs, it becomes easier to divide the pork into good pieces after roasting. Rub in salt and pepper, wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 2-3 days.
2. Put the pork (rind-side facing up) on top of an upside down dish inside a rectangular roasting tin, so that it's slightly raised at the centre (this ensures that the fat pours off the rind as it roasts). It's important that the pork belly is roughly at the same level on both sides in order to get a nice and even result. You can also place a ball of aluminium foil underneath to support the pork belly. Pour the water onto the pork belly and cover the entire tin with aluminium foil. Make sure to seal the foil around the tin tightly, so that the steaming process will be successful.
3. Preheat the oven to 230°C. Place the tin in the middle of the oven and allow to steam for approx. 45 minutes. The pork will now puff up a little and the rind will crack.
4. Remove the aluminium foil and reduce the temperature to 200°C. Return the tin to the oven and roast further for approx. 1 – 1 1/2 hours. The roasting time is the same regardless of the size of the joint, since its thickness is the same regardless of its weight. Remove from the oven and leave the pork on the counter for 20 minutes before slicing.
5. The pork rind often becomes crispy on its own. If not, do the following towards the end of the roasting time: Move the tin to a higher shelf in the oven and increase the temperature to 250°C, or use the oven's grill. Pay close attention to avoid burning the rind. Do not leave the oven as this is a quick process. If the rind is only crispy in some places, you can cover them with aluminium foil to avoid burning them.
6. We have chosen to serve the roast together with a traditional Christmas gravy, red cabbage, medisterkaker (traditional Christmas meatballs), sweetened lingonberries and boiled or mashed potatoes.
2.5 tbsp butter
2.5 tbsp flour
500 ml beef stock (diluted)
¼ orange, sliced into wedges
¼ apple, sliced into wedges
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.
750 g red cabbage
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.
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