Yesterday, for the first time, I tried my hand at turning this:
Because yay homemade horseradish sauce!
I was really spoiled when my mama #2 was alive as she kept me in plenty of the stuff which is not at all like the “damned goyisheh crap”, as my old man calls it, that you get at the store. I’m sure one can procure similar in some stores, but most of the time, though passable, the damned goyisheh crap is too sweet and not hot enough (or just tastes like burning) for our liking. Luckily, my BFF, daughter of mama #2, let me pilfer some from her massive plot of horseradish and have my picky, little way with it.
I made the mistake of doing too much research, constantly coming across posts like this one warning to basically don a hazmat suit before even touching this noxious, bitter root. I was scared. It seemed like such a production and where does a girl even find a hazmat suit?
In the end, I figured that, if mama #2 and BFF could do it without a hazmat suit, or goggles, or gloves, then I could too, dammit.
It was actually really easy. Most of the work was in cleaning and prepping the root. As you can see from the pic above, the roots grown at the BFF’s place aren’t those clean, even, carrot-like creatures one might find at the grocery store. No, no, this is a gnarly, woody beast with a very fibrous layer of fibrous gunk and dirt, but is also the devil I know to be deliciously not “damned goyisheh crap”.
After I got it all denuded, I chopped it into one inch chunks and tossed it into the food processor with a couple tablespoons of cold water for lube.
After grinding for a bit, there was a distinct lack of fumes.
I was promised fumes.
What did I do?
I stuck my face right into the food processor bowl to check for signs of fumes.
HOLY MARY MOTHER OF PEARL, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD AND YOUR SWEET FACES AND SINUSES DO. NOT. DO. THAT.
I shit you not, I almost passed out.
It took me a good half of an hour to recover.
Once recovered, I scraped down the bowl (from a distance), added about three tablespoons of cider vinegar (because fancy + I wanted a little sweetness, but not sugary sweetness), and a couple pinches of salt.
Some kitchen witches, like this one, say that the sauce becomes hotter the more time is left between chopping the horseradish and adding the vinegar. Well, mine sat for quite a while between those two steps thanks to my poor life choices and it is potent af. Next time, as I have enough root to make me almost pass out 25 times over, I’ll make an experiment to see how well that theory holds up.
I am really, really chuffed with the results, though. It’s the perfect balance of tart, piquant, salty, and horseradishy that I crave and I cannot wait to use it on something.