How to Prepare Horseradish

Fresh Horseradish Sauce

  • Fresh horseradish root (look for a firm, unblemished root – the whiter it looks inside, the fresher it is)
  • White vinegar (cider vinegar will discolor the horseradish)
  • Salt
  • Ice water

NOTE: It seems that horseradish’s characteristic bite is sharpest when the oils in the root are first exposed to air. So potent are these oils that all the recipes I read suggested (in no uncertain terms): preparing the root outdoors, wearing gloves and protective eye wear, and doing anything and everything you can to avoid touching your eyes after handling the stuff.
1. WARNING: Gather all your protective gear, cooking implements and ingredients together and bring them all to the outdoor location of your choice (you’ll need an outlet and a table.) It’s best to have everything in place before you get started so you don’t have to run back and forth and take the gloves on and off, etc.

2. Cut the ends off the horseradish root and peel it (the interior should be a creamy white) and then cut it into cubes that will be a manageable size for your blender or food processor.horseradish-2horseradish-3




3. Pour 1/4 cup of the ice water into your blender or food processor (if you’re using a blender, it should be enough to just cover the blades) and dump the horseradish cubes in after it.

4. Blend it for 25-30 seconds or until it is the consistency of the prepared horseradish you’d buy at the store. If your machine is having trouble, you can add a bit more water. Stop blending to shove any stray, unblended chunks down into the bowl and blend until they’ve been incorporated.horseradish-5

5. Depending on how hot you want the horseradish you can either add the vinegar and salt now or wait a few minutes to add it. The longer you wait – the hotter the horseradish.  For medium, add vinegar right away.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar and a half teaspoon of salt for each cup of ground horseradish root. Then blend a few seconds to combine thoroughly.

6. Taste (try a small amount as it may be very spicy!) the sauce to see if you need to adjust anything (more vinegar, more salt, etc.) If you’re satisfied, you can jar it up now. If your sauce seems too liquidy, you can drain off some of the water. Then spoon the sauce into glass jars with airtight lids and place them in the refrigerator. If you want to freeze the sauce, use a plastic container with an airtight lid. It will keep well in the fridge for about 4-6 weeks or in the freezer for 6 months or more.


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