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Throwback Thursday: Creamed horseradish

Throwback Thursday: Creamed horseradish
Tony Jackman’s horseradish, fresh and creamed. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Creamed horseradish and beef are as perfect a match as you can hope for in cuisine. You can buy little jars of it from the same shelf as mustard at the shop, or, if you have a neighbour who has access to fresh horseradish, you can even make your own.

That delightful thing that happens in small towns happened again the other day. There’s a ping on the phone, a call or a WhatsApp. “I’m at your front gate. I’ve got horseradish for you.” It was Charles Garth, he of the fabulous Karoo repast I wrote about a few months ago.

In the bag were several gnarled roots that looked something like fresh ginger or galangal but pale in colour. A friend of his had grown them and they were ripe and ready for use. I happily accepted the gift.

The plain exterior of horseradish belies the kick inside, and I wonder if that isn’t why it is called horseradish. It’s stronger than mustard, a strong contender for out-heating wasabi, and gives onions a run for their eye-watering money.

They are all related. Horseradish is a root vegetable which is perennial of the Brassicaceae family which includes mustard and wasabi along with vegetables more widely known to be in that family including broccoli, cabbage and the common little red radish. Talking of wasabi, it is broadly claimed that much of the wasabi on the sushi conveyor belt and even some of the product called wasabi in its native Japan is not actually from the wasabi root but horseradish tinted with green food dye.

Horseradish is not, however, at all related to ginger. Horseradish is a root while ginger is a rhizome. The former is a brassica but ginger is from the Zingiberaceae family and has yellow flowers (horseradish has white blooms).

If you’re after your own creamed horseradish there are two processes involved. First, you need to make what is called prepared horseradish, then move on to the creamed result.

Prepared horseradish

Ingredients

2 or 3 strips of horseradish root, peeled

4 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

½ tsp salt

Method

Peel the skin off the root and trim the ends. Grate the tubers and you should have about 2 cups of grated horseradish root.

Put it into a food processor and add 4 Tbsp water. Process thoroughly.

Remove to a bowl and add 2 Tbsp of white wine vinegar and the salt. Stir well. Drain in a colander to get rid of excess water.

Transfer the prepared horseradish to a jar. It will keep for a month or more in the fridge. Or use it right away to make creamed horseradish as follows:

Creamed horseradish

Ingredients

2 cups sour cream

8 Tbsp prepared horseradish, drained

8 Tbsp mayonnaise

4 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

Method

In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients together. Transfer to jars (it makes about 2). It should keep for two weeks in the fridge. DM

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

The creamed horseradish is photographed in a bowl by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.

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