Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Recipe on Food52

5 Ingredients or Fewer

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish

December  4, 2019
2 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Every year since 1972, Susan Stamberg has been reciting her mother-in-law's oddball cranberry relish recipe on NPR's All Things Considered. Its infamy might come from the strange ingredients—raw onion, cranberries, and sour cream, frozen and partially-thawed?—but it's surprisingly good. Adapted slightly from NPR . —Food52

  • Makes 1 1/2 pints
  • 2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed
  • 1 small onion
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish from a jar ("red is milder than white")
In This Recipe
  1. Grind the raw berries and onion together. ("I use an old-fashioned meat grinder," says Stamberg. "I'm sure there's a setting on the food processor that will give you a chunky grind—not a purée.")
  2. Add the ground berries and onions to a bowl; then add everything else and mix.
  3. Put the mixture in a plastic container and freeze.
  4. Early Thanksgiving morning, move it from the freezer to refrigerator compartment to thaw. ("It should still have some icy slivers left.")
  5. The relish will be thick, creamy, and shockingly pink. ("OK, Pepto Bismol pink. It has a tangy taste that cuts through and perks up the turkey and gravy. It's also good on next-day turkey sandwiches, or with roast beef.")

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jon Hoskins
    Jon Hoskins
  • stacey
  • Sam1148
  • susan g
    susan g
  • Bevi
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.

    8 Reviews

    Jon H. November 6, 2019
    Did this one with prime rib for T-day last year and everyone LOVED it!
    stacey December 2, 2016
    So delicious! Saw the recipe on NPR and had all of the ingredients in the fridge already. This will be on our holiday table from now on. If you like horseradish at all this is a must try.
    Sam1148 November 11, 2016
    This..THIS is a must have for us for T-Day.
    gretch374 November 11, 2016
    Is there a reason you are supposed to freeze it? If I just put it in the fridge would it still be ok?
    Dana H. November 19, 2018
    You need the freezer. It’s uncooked, but the freezer breaks down the onion (freezes the water in the cells/collapses and becomes milder).
    Wendy G. November 17, 2015
    We have been making this for years after hearing the recipe on NPR. A unique taste and surely a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving meal!
    susan G. November 13, 2015
    I've made it and liked it, but I've read that Susan S has a different favorite recipe. This one, as well as most cranberry condiments, is good on sandwiches.
    There's a pauljoseph chutney that he says can be made with cranberries. I did, and it's outstanding!
    Bevi November 10, 2015
    This recipe has graced our thanksgiving table since the late 1970'S!