This will bring tears to your eyes: Making the horseradish

For favorite Passover recipes from my kitchen, please see Essential Passover from Scratch: Recipes and Stories from My Mother’s Kitchen

Always store and serve in a covered container. I served ours in this covered sugar bowl.

The badge of honor for a Jewish cook goes to the person who makes the fresh horseradish for the holidays. I remember watching my grandmother making it, standing at the blender with tears pouring down her cheeks. Naturally, in any given year, it is stronger than it has ever been before. If it doesn’t hurt to make it, and hurt to eat it, it isn’t a good batch.

Horseradish (makes about 2 pints)

  • 1 horseradish root, about 8-10″ long
  • 3/4 can beets (nothing added), plus the liquid
  • 1/4-1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 Tbs. sugar

Peel the horseradish root and cut into pieces small enough for your blender or food processor to easily handle. Put the beets, beet juice, cut up horseradish root, 1/4 c. cider vinegar, salt and sugar into the blender. Process until very smooth. Taste and adjust vinegar, salt and sugar. Always store in a sealed or covered container, even when on the table, or it will loose its strength. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a year (until you make some at the next holiday).

After you’ve used what you need for the gefilte fish, keep it in the refrigerator to use throughout the year.

To make cocktail sauce: mix 1 part ketchup with 1/4 part horseradish.

One thought on “This will bring tears to your eyes: Making the horseradish

  1. Dori-

    You inspired me to go buy a horse radish root and to try this recipe. Unfortunately the only beets we had in the house were ones we had pickled. This didn’t make for a very good horse radish sauce. Fortunately this did make a great shrimp cocktail sauce; although, I mixed it more like 50/50 with catchup.

    I read on other web pages that the heat of the horse radish sauce is due to an enzymatic reaction that occurs when the horse radish is ground; this reaction is stopped by the addition of vinegar. The longer until you wait to mix in the vinegar the hotter the horse radish sauce.

    Thanks again for posting the family favorites.

    Rich

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