Steak and Cranberry Chili

Ruby Red Berries

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Yes, it’s a curious sounding combo.  It’s not a conventional chili marriage; I guess you’d expect minced turkey to be cohabiting with cranberries, but steak..?

I stumbled across this pairing on the Fall Specials menu at Cosi’s.  I didn’t get a chance to try it at the time, but mused whether this was a touch of genius or utter madness on Cosi’s part.

I googled recipes but didn’t turn up very many.  So I’m assuming this is not an overwhelmingly popular derivation of chili.  Undeterred, I tried it – but I still had to improvise.  The recipe I found on called for ground beef.  The one on the menu at Cosi’s used cubed steak, so I simply substituted 11b ground beef for the same amount of beef steak.

How did I get on:

  • Looks = 8/10.  The chili’s rich red color was most appetizing
  • Taste = 7/10.  The cranberries proved to be a bit of a disappointment. I liked the way they went with the chili, but I thought the end result would be more tart.  I think the chili itself neutralized some of the sharpness of the cranberries

Would I do it again?

Probably not.  I know a fair few friends who dislike meat and fruit pairings.

I think I’d stick with the slow cooked zucchini and black bean chili recipe we featured recently from Real Simple mag.

That one lived up to expectations and has become a household regular.


Cooking on the stove.


This steak and cranberry chili looked better than it actually tasted.  I thought the cranberries would pack a mean punch but they were overpowered by the heavyweight picante sauce.



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