Ribbe is served for Christmas Eve dinner in many Norwegian
homes. It is easy to prepare and, if so desired, can
be baked the day ahead and served cold. However, the
thrill of Christmas Eve would vanish in our home if
the heavenly aroma of ribbe or skinkestek (roasted fresh
ham) and surkaal didn't fill the air. If cold loin of
pork is your choice, make certain that the accompaniments
such as boiled potatoes, gravy, and surkaal are served
The pork loin should be neither too lean nor too fat;
find a happy medium. If the loin has surplus fat, trim,
leaving about one-half inch for self basting. Rub the
loin with a generous amount of salt and pepper which
has been thoroughly mixed (twice as much salt as pepper).
Place in roasting pan in a 450-degree preheated oven,
reduce immediately to 350 degrees and roast 30 to 35
minutes per pound until nicely browned (45 minutes to
1 hour). Then add 1 cup boiling water and continue baking.
Make sure every part of the roast is basted often. During
the last half hour no basting is required. When cooking
is completed place on platter and allow to rest 10 minutes
The accompaniments served with ribbe vary, but surkaal,
potatoes, and tyttebær (lingonberries) are a must.
Other additions can be dried apricots cooked until barely
tender and filled with currant jelly, stewed prunes,
Authentic Norwegian Cooking, by Astrid Karlsen Scott,
is available through Heritage Books.