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Horseradish Sauce! (Relish?)

You Can Grow That!

Horseradish roots

I dug about a foot into the soil and still had to pull the roots of my horseradish plant. These are just over a foot long and I don’t know how much broke off in the ground.

Remember when I said you can grow horseradish? Do it! My three year horseradish project was very satisfying this Christmas. You might have a similar experience.

In mid autumn, I harvested from my horseradish patch. I’d heard that horseradish is hard to kill; it will take over your yard if you don’t manage it carefully. Harvesting helped me understand the problem.

I dug alongside a root and tried to follow it to its deepest point. Fully a foot into the soil, there was no end in sight and I simply couldn’t dig deeper. So, I pulled and the root broke someplace beneath the bottom of the hole. I suspect the piece left behind will send up a new plant pretty much as a dandelion would under similar circumstances.

Horseradish harvest

I had to break the top of each root I harvested away from the other roots. They were all joined at the top by a raft of root tops and emerging plant stalks.

I dug a second root with similar results. If we used a lot of horseradish, I’d have dug more, but we go through about a half cup of horseradish sauce in a year—pretty much all of that on Christmas Eve.

A horseradish condiment

A few days before Christmas, I took a horseradish root from the refrigerator, rinsed it thoroughly, and used a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Then I grated the root into the consistency of fine (wet) meal. This I loaded into a one-cup jelly jar; there was a half cup of grated horseradish.

To finish, I added exactly enough white vinegar to soak the horseradish—this involved slowly dribbling in vinegar so the grated root could absorb it. I stopped when the top of the horseradish was obviously moist. Then I covered the jar and set it in the refrigerator.

How we use horseradish

Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is a beef fondue extravaganza. We cook our own cubes of filet mignon in a fondue pot of hot oil.

Horseradish grater

I shredded the horseradish on the face of my grater that seemed most suited to scraping things rather than shaving them. A single, peeled root generated a half cup of horseradish crumbs.

To prepare, my wife mixes up several meat sauces, a few of which incorporate horseradish. I’ve always bought a jar of pickled, grated horseradish to use in the sauces, but this year my wife used my homemade pickled horseradish. It tasted fine.

It took three years to go from my brother’s garden to my refrigerator to my garden and finally to my dinner table. It’s a very satisfying story to accompany dinner.

Want horseradish to make your own meat sauces? You can grow that!

Grated, pickled horseradish

With just enough vinegar to cover the shredded horseradish, after a few days in the refrigerator the horseradish seemed a bit dry. It was nearly exactly enough to flavor our Christmas Eve beef fondue; this is all that remains.

 
Small Kitchen Garden – You Can Grow That: Horseradish Relish

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2 Responses to “Horseradish Sauce! (Relish?)”

  • TerriP:

    I’d love to find some horseradish root…don’t use enough to buy it from one of the seed catalogs. Am on an exchange list with a request but no takers yet. Not sure if it would grow in Az at 4500 ft.

  • A friend of mine grows a lot of horseradish here in zone 7a. He says it is very easy. I have not grown it myself, probably because I do not eat a lot of recipes that require it, but I am guessing, just like with any new crop you grow, if you grow it, you will more than likely use it right?

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