Ribs with a taste of Christmas - another tradition

Ribs with a taste of Christmas - another tradition

Thomas Karlstein

The tree is decorated, the Gävlebocken (at the time of writing) is still standing proudly and it has started to get a little white around us.


recipe 4-6 people

4.5 kg baby back ribs

1 L Christmas must (not light)


3 L water

3 dl salt

1 dl sugar


2 tbsp ginger

2 tbsp coriander

2 tbsp cumin

0.5 tbsp nutmeg

0.5 tbsp cinnamon

0.5 tbsp cloves (ground)


approx. 3 dl rowan berry jelly

1 dl grated fresh ginger

1.5 dl orange juice

3 tbsp brown sugar


The tree is decorated, the Gävlebocken (at the time of writing) is still standing proudly and it has started to get a little white around us. Now it is not far until our biggest holiday, but before then a little about something that has been forgotten. I would like to take the opportunity to remind you that it is "Thomas' drunk barrel" today. The term does not mean that any Thomas has necessarily looked too deeply into the glass, but is a popular term for the day when it used to be allowed to taste the Christmas beer. Thomas just happens to have his name day today. Which must be great fun for him?!

It appears from life descriptions that drinking beer is probably the oldest known Swedish Christmas tradition. Whether it's true or not I don't know?

Personally, I think it's much more likely that you repeatedly ate something smoked long before around Christmas. Smoking food is thus probably our oldest Christmas tradition. You eat first and get thirsty later. What were the life historians thinking here? To celebrate this gastro-historical insight, we offer spare ribs for Christmas. Ribs with festive flavors are a tradition for many. I myself have come across them a little sporadically, but have not previously made any myself. When Juliga Kamben came up, I therefore knew exactly what to do. You may remember the 3-2-1 currant that I presented a few summers ago here at Bradley?

The approach in that recipe is a lonely wide straight road with railings to a feast. Absolutely perfect for the Christmas table. So clear away the summer BBQ spices and bring out the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and all the other flavors that we so warmly associate with Christmas.

When the ribs have been smoked for a few hours with the spices well rubbed in, we bring out the Christmas must. The meat, which has now begun to take on a nice color, is then allowed to steam further in the July drink before it is painted with a glaze of i.a. rowan berry jelly, grated fresh ginger and orange. Now all it takes is one more Christmas with ribs and we've created a new Christmas tradition.

Satisfied with the ribs and to pay tribute to the toil of my ancestors, I treat myself to a cold beer with the smoked. For the ribs, we serve shredded butter-fried kale and homemade beetroot salad.

We at Bradley wish you a Merry Christmas!


Start with the brine already the night before. Boil the water with salt and sugar. Allow to dissolve and cool to fridge cold. Then put the drumsticks down and leave to cool overnight (12-6pm).

The next day - start the Bradley smoke at 110°C and start the smoke function. 

Rinse the comb under cold water and dry thoroughly.

Mix the dry spices together into a rub and work the spice mixture into both sides of the meat. Then spread the ribs out on the racks and place in the smoker. Then leave for 3 hours.

Pick out the ribs. Then make a single "tub" of several layers of aluminum foil.

Place all the dampers in the foil and cover with the Christmas must. Then cover so everything is completely sealed with more foil.

Set the smoke again at the same temperature, but with the smoke unit switched off.

Leave for another 2 hours.

In the meantime, prepare the glass. Let all the ingredients boil together in a saucepan. When the time is up, it's time to take the dampers out of the foil and put them back on the grids.

Brush the comb legs on both sides with the glaze and place again in the Bradley cabinet. Same temperature (110°C) as before, but now with the smoke function switched on.

Let stand for another 1-2 hours.

Serve with optional accessories.