Recipes, Local specialties, Main

Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage

Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage

Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage is a traditional recipe from Lombardia, in the North of Italy. It is typical comfort food, perfect as a main dish for a winter Sunday lunch with the family.

Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage: the origins

The original area is considered to be between the cities of Brescia and Cremona, but it is widely spread in Pavia and in the whole region, so that you will find it in many traditional trattorias in Milan.

The braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage recipe I am sharing with you today is actually a lighter version of the famous cassoeula

Click to hear me pronounce “cassoeula” with a perfect accent from Milan 🙂

The origins of cassoeula is strictly linked to the end of the pig-slaughtering season. As a peasant tradition, the cheapest parts of the meat were used to feed the family, mixed with season vegetables, while the most valuable parts were used to produce cured pork meat. The cheapest parts, including ribs, head, ears, rind, trotters, were put into a casserole (in Italian casseruola, hence the name cassoeula) with carrots, celery, onion and savoy cabbage and slowly cooked. Since it is a slow cooking recipe, as you can see in the pictures my choice always goes to the dutch oven. Results will be awesome!

Wine pairings

This braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage is a fat (due to the pork meat) and slightly sweet (due to the cabbage) dish: the logical pairing will be with an acid, better if sparkling, wine.

If you want to be regional, the perfect pairing will be a Bonarda dell’Oltrepò pavese, a red sparkling wine quite similar to Lambrusco from Emilia Romagna.

If you want to impress your friends and try something less obvious, you will do simply great chosing a spumante brut (always from Oltrepò pavese or from Franciacorta, to stay local) or a champagne.

But now let’s start cooking this incredibly tasty dish, I am sure you will love it! To better appreciate it, the tradition suggests to have it with a polenta, or with some slices of your own bread loaf.

And if you like this recipe, PIN IT! 🙂

Pro tip: if you like Italian sausage (who doesn’t??), you can add this piece of meat when you add the ribs. The taste won’t be bad either 😉

Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage

A typical recipe from Lombardia, in the North of Italy. I would define it a lighter version of "cassoeula", one of the iconic dishes from Milan. Perfect for your cold winter days. Enjoy!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time3 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Lombarda, Regional
Keyword: easy, energetic, tasty
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 450kcal
Author: Roberto
Cost: $3


  • a knife
  • a chopping board
  • a pan with a lid (I use my dutch oven)


  • 800 gr pork ribs cut into halves for easier cooking
  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 1 onion
  • 200 gr tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 glass vegetable broth
  • q.s. salt (optional) I don't add any
  • q.s. black pepper (optional) I add some


  • Choose a large, blonde onion. Chop it roughly and start gently roasting it in a pan, with 2 tablespoons of EVO oil.
    Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage - onion
  • After 10-15 minutes, the onion should change color and become slightly transparent. Time to add the pork ribs and roast each side of them. The heat now is less gentle, but not too much (pay attention not to burn the onion).
    Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage - raw pork ribs
  • After 15 minutes, the roasting should be completed. This is important since it will keep the meat juices inside during the long cooking phase.
    Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage - roasted pork ribs
  • While the meat is roasting, wash and cut the savoy cabbage.
    Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage - cutting the cabbage
  • Time for the King ingredient of this dish, the savoy cabbage! Add it to the pan and pour about 1 glass of vegetable broth. Cover with the lid and cook at low heat for about 30 minutes.
    Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage - adding the cabbage
  • After this time, add the tomato sauce, salt (optional, I prefer not to) and black pepper (optional, I do). Gently mix, add some more vegetable broth if you think it is too dry, and cover with the lid again. Gently cook it for about 2 hours.
    Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage - adding the tomato sauce
  • It will be ready when the meat effortless separates from the bone. Your dish is ready to be enjoyed with some good homemade bread!
    Braised pork ribs with savoy cabbage

And if you don’t own a dutch oven but you want to try one, this is the one I suggest. I use it not only for my cassoeula, but also for baking my bread, cooking my risotto, my arrosto (roasted meat) and, most of all, my ragù alla bolognese! Amazing value for money and a great way to help this blog 🙂

Buon appetito!


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