Preserving horseradish

We grew some really good horseradish in the garden this year, although the caterpillars (of the white cabbage butterfly variety) ate the tops.  The little monsters.  I was surprised that they found them delicious, but perhaps the tops aren’t as strong-tasting as the root.  I adore horseradish sauce, especially when it is freshly made with cream.  This is the horseradish I retrieved from the garden and I can tell you it takes some digging out.

There was about 225g (8oz) in its unpeeled form and about 175g (6oz) once peeled.

You can grate it a lot finer on a microplane but I just didn’t think I could bear the eye-watering, so I used the grater attachment in my food processor and whizzed away.  It was still eye-watering, it has to be said, but not as bad as actually standing directly over a grater. This has left me with longer strands, but I am hoping these will give an interesting bite to future horseradish sauce.

To preserve it, mix the grated horseradish with one teaspoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt and then pack it into a sterile jar.  Add enough white wine vinegar to cover the horseradish (about 125ml, 4 fl oz) and seal the jar tightly.

I am looking forward to seeing how successful this is as a way of preserving one of my favourite things.

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17 responses to “Preserving horseradish

  1. I haven’t eaten horseradish in years. I’m suddenly craving it…A burger, I think. Really hope your preserving turns out well 🙂

  2. Wow, what a haul. I remember horseradish from my childhood, my father loved horseradish sauce and grew some in our backyard one year. I still remember the nose burn from the smell, its strong stuff so I admire your bravery for grating it ;0)

  3. This sounds really interesting! I’ve never had horse radish before! What do you eat it with?

    BTW, thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving me comments!!

    • Hi Accidental Weekend Chef, You are very welcome, I liked the sound of that cherry cheesecake of yours when I spotted it on FoodPress. Horseradish is normally made into a sauce with cream or yoghurt and a bit of vinegar, a dash of mustard and seasoning, then served alongside roast beef. Take a look at my recipe from last year http://theordinarycook.co.uk/2009/11/24/horseradish-sauce/. I like it so much that I would be tempted to use it as replacement for mustard at any time and with anything. It has a really strong taste that hits at the back of the throat and in the nose if you take too big a mouthful though, so care is needed, especially in posh restaurants!!

      • That sounds somewhat like wasabi which the Japanese use! I’ll look out for horse radish at the market and if I find some, I’ll give it a shot!

      • Hi, yes it is a little bit like wasabi for the strength of it, but I much prefer horseradish sauce, because it manages to be hot tasting but creamy at the same time. I hope you find it, you are probably more likely to find it in a jar than in its root form. I don’t think I have ever seen it for sale in its root form here in England. It is something that grows wild in the hedgerows here, but I have never properly identified the wild variety.

  4. I’m with you, horseradish sauce is a wonderful accompaniment to lots of things. I’ve only made a fresh sauce before, so will be interested to see how your preserved version turns out. Last year I froze little tubs of the sauce which seemed to work quite well though some of the “up your nose” quality wore off a little. Horseradish and cauliflower soup is really good too. Must dig some up and make some.

    • That soup sounds wonderful. I didn’t think of freezing the sauce. My mum is storing her horseradish roots in sand in the shed, so it will be interesting to compare our sauces in a few months’ time.

  5. Got converted to horseradish living with my hub, he adores the stuff. I had no idea people cultivated it, and just looking at what you produced, I strongly suspect it might blow your heads off! Hankies to the ready…

  6. Hi Kath. Can you tell me whether this was a successful method of preserving the horseradish?

    • Hi Steve,
      Yes it worked well. I used the jar all winter. Next time though I will grate it finer, using my microplane rather than the food processor. I will expect quite a few tears in the process too.
      Kath

  7. I used my coffee grinder to get a finer texture. It worked well and did not harm the machine! You can only do a little at a time but you only need a smallish jar to last a long time. It is best to grow your own but be warned, it spreads if you let it!o

  8. Please tell me how to grow it.
    .

    • Hi, You can buy horseradish roots from a good nursery or from here http://www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk/horseradish-bare-roots-pid2443.html
      It is easy to plant and grow, a little to easy perhaps. Be careful where you plant it as it spreads very easily and quickly and because the root goes so deep it is quite difficult to dig it out without breaking up. Any remaining root will continue to flourish and spread. I would recommend planting it either in an area where you don’t mind it taking over or in a container. You can dig the container into the ground like you would with mint. Good luck and let me know how you get on with it.

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