Christmas Dinner – The Norwegian Way

Unlike Britain, the main Norwegian Christmas celebration takes place with a big Christmas dinner on 24 December, Christmas Eve. The choice of food varies depending on the area of Norway you are from, but often consists of lamb ribs, stockfish or sometimes cod. However, the clear favourite, eaten by as many as six out of ten households, is ‘Ribbe’ – roast pork belly.


Traditionally served with boiled potatoes, sausages, meat cakes, prunes, lingonberries and pickled cabbage, ‘Ribbe’ and its heavenly aroma is sure to bring a bit of Norwegian Christmas into your kitchen. Follow this recipe from for success.

Photo: Alf Børjesson/



• 2 kg pork rib
• 3 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons pepper
• Approximately 200 ml water

Time: 60 mins
Serves 4

This is what you do:

Saw through the bone to make it easier to pull the ribs apart for serving. Cut the rind in a criss-cross pattern – cutting the squares parallel to the ribs makes it easier to slice up nice pieces after cooking (see image gallery for help).

Photo: Ragge Strand and Per Alfsen/
Photo: Ragge Strand and Per Alfsen/

Rub with salt and pepper two or three days before roasting, cover with foil, and leave in the fridge. When the ribs have been in the fridge for a couple of days, you are ready for action!

Place the rib in a roasting dish with the rind up. To get rid of the melted fat, a tip is to place foil or a plate upside-down under the meat, so that it is slightly raised in the middle.

Photo: Ragge Strand and Per Alfsen/

Then, pour 200 ml (3/4 cup) water into the roasting dish, and cover the rib with foil. It is important that the foil is completely airtight, so that evaporation will be successful.

Roast in the middle of the oven at 230°C. After 30 – 40 minutes, remove the foil and lower to 200°. Roast spare ribs for a further 1 1/2 hours and midribs for a further 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Leave for 20 minutes before carving.

That’s it – you are ready to serve a juicy and yummy Christmas ‘Ribbe’. As Norwegians would say: VELBEKOMME!

Photo: Mari Svenningsen/

Would you like to know more about the Norwegian Christmas? Follow this link.

Are you intrigued to attempt more Norwegian recipes? Click here.

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