Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How to Make Your Own Prepared Horseradish – Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

Every time I use horseradish in a recipe, I get e-mails from people asking me how they can make it at home. They mention they can get the fresh root, but can’t find anything already prepared in the jar, which in some cases is hard to believe – like when the email originates from New York City – but regardless, this is still a very worthwhile thing to learn how to make.

Worthwhile, and somewhat painful, if you’re not careful. As I mention in the video, the fumes produced by this process are very intense, and will cause burning eyes and runny noses, if you’re not in a well-ventilated space. Having said that, using a little common sense, it’s really not that bad, and so totally worth it.

This really is quite easy if you have a food processor, but if you don’t, a heavy-duty blender will work, although you may have to add more water in the first step, to get the mixture fine enough. You can also grate this very fine on a microplane, but that would probably only be practical if you’re making a smaller amount.

Once your horseradish has been ground finely, the technique is very simple. I like to wait two or three minutes (this is supposed to make it hotter), before adding the salt and vinegar. Then, I’ll simply process, adding as much water as necessary, until I have a nice, smooth, creamy mixture.

And while this looks like something from the grocery store, the flavor is incomparable. Intensely hot, and aromatic; this is the real deal. So, whether you’re one of these people, who lives in a place where they don’t have jarred horseradish, like apparently New York City, or you always wanted to try and make some yourself, I really hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 3 cups: you read this please in here
1 pound peeled, cubed fresh horseradish root
cold water as needed (about 3/4 cup total)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup white distilled vinegar

18 comments:

Daniel Bottoms said...

In Austria they also use cream, instead of vinegar/water for this to mild it out a bit... served often with boiled beefs :D

Great technique!!

Keith Ottendorfer said...

Now that you made a good Horseradish recipe, how about a proper French Dip sandwich recipe? I'm jonesin for one and after searching your recipes, I've noticed that there doesn't seem to be exactly one. Hopefully I didn't just miss it along the search.

Glenn Strycker said...

My grandpa always wore a gas mask while making this stuff! Evidently it can make your whole house fill up with fumes, causing your eyes to water pretty bad. But it's worth it!!

Divtal said...

A former colleague tells of finding a large horseradish root near his home when he was a kid ... in an era that well pre-dated the "food processor." His mother was thrilled, nevertheless, assigned him the task of grinding it.

The grinder was stationary, so he couldn't move it outdoors.

He recalls it as the most physically punishing day of his childhood. He couldn't work for more than a couple of minutes, before he had to step out for fresh air. Because of those interruptions, it took what seemed like hours to complete the task.

Oddly, he continued to love horseradish.


Azi said...

First, this recipe is the reason why every kitchen should be equipped with a snorkeling mask in a bottom drawer ...
Second, @Daniel - cream is out in most prepared commercial versions b/c it isn't kosher to use w/meat, which will cut the targeted segment by 70% in the U.S. & 100% in Israel ...
In my family we like the version w/beets, but for the Alabama style white bbq sauce you need to omit the beet.

AmandaW said...

Looks so tasty, I just wanna eat it with a spoon! But not doing that again. My nose has been running since 2012. ;)

Food Junkie said...

A perfect recipe without all the crap that ruins so many jars of horseradish like mustard oil and sugar. I will try this as soon as I can find some horseradish roots. Really good, hot jarred horseradish is nearly impossible to find here.

Chris K. said...

This would've been a perfect opportunity to showcase your beef on weck recipe.

Julie M. said...

I think I am going to take my food processor to the deck just to be safe. Then I am going to ad a big spoon full of this stuff to some sour cream with a hand full of bacon. #awesomedip


Emi said...

Omg!!! I just tried your Beef on Weck recipe (which was AMAZING) this past labor day weekend, and was wondering how to make Homemade Horseradish!!! Def gonna try this recipe!!! You're the BEST Chef John!!!!!!

Big Ol' said...

Anyone looking for already-prepared horseradish in jars may not be looking in the correct section of their grocery stores. I actually grew up in New York City, and my mom always had prepared horseradish in the fridge, store-bought from our local supermarket. The stores stocked the horseradish jars in the cold cases of the dairy section, usually on the top shelf, along with other perishables like Limburger cheese, fresh baking yeast, etc.

My favorite horseradish was the variety that had red beets in the mixture, which gave it a nice deep pink color and took some of the edge of the "heat" of the horseradish preparation.

Even if you can locate this in your stores, however, it is so much more fun and rewarding to just make it yourself. Thank you John!!

Ritsin said...

I've made my own horseradish sauce using a procedure quite like yours but I found that after a week it had lost its pungency. Is there any suggestions on how to keep it hot?

BTW, goes great with the Method X Prime Rib.

Ron Hogue said...

Hi Chef John,

Several years ago I went to Whisky Flat Days in Kernville, CA (originally Whiskey Flat.) Part of the celebration was a contest which involved grinding horseradish with an old crank grinder. I am not sure whether the winner was the one who ground the most horseradish, or the one that cranked for the longest. The grinder was inside an old phone booth and the contestants were required to crank with the door closed while wearing no type of hand or eye protection.

You have the greatest cooking site on the internet. Thank you for all of your hard work.

ricnrolle said...

Thanks for this video. I love Horseradish. I would be grateful to know what brand of peeler you use. It seems to be very awesome. Thanks in advance. R Ducat

Robert Trifts said...

This is going to sound a little silly, but I'm rather *excited* to try this out! It even looks like my ridiculously overpowered Breville Sous Chef 16 food processor might actually come in handy for this one, too. So I'm off to the market to find some horseradish root!

Thanks John!

Wind Zackie said...

Can I use powdered horseradish? i´ve only found horseradish that way here .

yimyammer said...

Couple of questions:

1. Can the horseradish root be frozen for future use (I know I can freeze it but will it still be good months later when its thawed and processed)?

2. I have a VacMaster sealing machine, if I seal the root in a 3mil bag, how long will the root last in the refrigerator?

Love your videos and recipes, thanks

Linda B. said...

@Big Ol' made an excellent point--around here (Northern Virginia, near Washington DC) if you ask for "horseradish" you will almost invariably be pointed to "horseradish sauce", which as any true horseradish lover knows, is NOT at all the same thing. Most grocery stores now have the prepared horseradish in the same general section as the Vlassic pickles, if they carry it. But I can totally understand why anyone who had gone to the condiments aisle looking for it, and only found "horseradish sauce" would have thought they didn't carry it in their area. :-)

This looks like an awesome recipe. I want to try it next time we get a day nice enough to open up the windows. Thanks for posting it!