Introduction: Make and Preserve Horseradish
We grow our own horseradish. We also travel out of state for 4 months of the year(snow birds). I found that by the end of the winter, the horserdish had declined severly in quality and flavor. The dilemma was figuring out how to keep the horseradish that long without losing the quality.
My first experiment was with canning. I do lot of canning and thought it would not be a problem. It had a vinegar base, so I figured a 10 minute water bath would do it. Wrong. It exploded, looked terrible and tasted worse.
I could, of course just cover it with sand and carry it with us. Not something I wanted to do.
Step 1: Make and Preserve Horserdish
Scratcher or scrub brush
Bullet, ninja or some grinding tool
Step 2: Make and Preserve Horseradish
White distilled vinegar
Step 3: Make and Preserve Horseradish
We grow our own horseradish, so we dig the roots up. If you decide to grow horseradish, it is advisable to grow it in a more or less contained area. It can be aggressive and spreads easily. We have ours next to the asparagus patch, away from our main garden. Do not throw even the peelings anywhere you do not want horseradish to grow. I put the leaves back on the patch. I put the peelings in a plastic bag and put it in the trash.
Cut off the top of the plant. Wash the root in clear water, scrubbing it with a scracher or scrub brush.
We found that the best thing to peel the root with was a potato peeler. After peeling the root, cut into small chunks. At this point you will find that the root is starting to get pungent.
Step 4: Make and Preserve Horseradish
I recommend that you do this step outdoors, or at the very least, in a very well ventilated room. Experience speaks. The horseradish fumes are very strong. Tears run, and the nose burns. You cannot even breathe through your mouth to avoid the smell.
The first few times we ground the root in a regular blender. It was slow and did not handle the horseradish well.
We bought a Bullet, and found that it did the job much better. The last time we ground horseradish, I thought I had burnt up the Bullet. I called my daughter and had her bring over her Ninja. It did the job much faster. I think the cut was a little rougher, but it was adequate.
Giving a precise amount of vinegar is difficult. For one thing it depends on how much root you are going to grind. I pour a couple of inches of vinegar in the bottom of the grinding instrument and then add the root. If it is too runny add more root, if it is too dry add more vinegar. Be stingy with the vinegar, you can always add more if needed.
Although I pictured the bullet, my husband said to me, "Why don't you buy the Ninja before we start". What woman could pass up a chance like that? I did the rough grind with the Ninja and finished it off with the Bullet.
Step 5: Make and Preserve Horseradish
Fill the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Put the lids on, but do not tighten them down. Place in the freezer. After they are fully frozen, tighten down the lid. These travel well and refreeze without loss of flavor or quality. When we travel, I place the jars in a vacuum bag, primarily to be sure they don't get water in them from the cooler.
We now have horseradish for the whole season.