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Horseradish root is larger than an ordinary radish and has a hot, peppery flavour.
It's more likely to be eaten as a condiment, which can be found in varying degrees of heat. Like mustard and chilli, too much heat will overpower the flavours and quality of the meat, fish or other main ingredients in your dish.
The fresh root is in season between spring and autumn, but imported roots can be found in specialist shops all year round. Commercial horseradish sauces are also widely available.
Choose the best
Fresh horseradish should be firm and have no green parts. Roots can grow up to 25cm long, so they are often cut into smaller pieces; the cut ends shouldn't show any signs of mould.
Commercial horseradish products should be used within the 'use by' date, and free from unnecessary additives.
The finer the horseradish root is chopped, the more powerful the level of heat will be. If you're preparing more than a small amount, ensure your kitchen is well ventilated to avoid discomfort to your nose and eyes.
The traditional English way to make a horseradish sauce is to plunge the prepared root immediately into white vinegar, drain, then fold into whipped cream, soured cream, yoghurt, or crème fraîche. A little-grated garlic is recommended to give a more rounded flavour to the sauce.
It can also be stirred into freshly grated beetroot or roasted beetroot – just add vinegar to keep both the beetroot red and the horseradish viable.
Fresh horseradish should be stored in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag with a sprinkling of water. For freezer storage, it should be grated and stored in small quantities.
Homemade horseradish sauce will keep for up to three days in the fridge. After that, it may start to turn brown and the flavour will deteriorate.
A creamy horseradish sauce is often served alongside roast beef, but it can also be added to seafood sauces, or stirred into mashed potatoes and served alongside roast beef or oxtail stew.
The combination of horseradish and beetroot is a Polish favourite, and imported versions are increasingly available.
You can also give a Bloody Mary cocktail some extra zing with a small amount of horseradish.
Horseradish is a member of the mustard family, Once peeled, it can be grated and mixed with cream and other ingredients to make a hot flavoured sauce to accompany roast beef
Horseradish 0 all recipes using horseradish
Fresh horseradish is difficult to source. Try a good farmers' market or *Special*ist supplier, or look online.
Keep fresh horseradish in a paper bag in the fridge for up to one week, or cut it into smaller pieces and freeze until required. To prepare fresh horseradish root, just peel it and grate. Grate only the quantity you need, as once peeled it will lose its pungency quite quickly. Use horseradish raw in sauces - cooking destroys its flavour.
Horseradish is traditionally made into a sauce to serve with roast beef, venison or robust-flavored fish such as tuna, smoked trout and mackerel. It is grated and can either be mixed with cream to make creamed horseradish sauce, or mixed with vegetable oil to give hot horseradish sauce, which has a stronger flavour and a thicker consistency than creamed horseradish. Take care when grating horseradish as the vapours can sting your eyes. Serve with venison or well-flavoured fish such as mackerel or tuna, or stir into mashed potatoes for a tangy flavour.
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