I had never tasted horseradish until I met SH. Horseradish sauce was a flavour that reminded him of his Poppa who loved it served with roast beef, yorkshire pudding, roast vegetables and greens.
The first time I tasted it was one day when we went to the Whanganui Races and they were selling beef and horseradish sandwiches, they were so delicious.
From then on I was hooked. We bought various jars at the supermarket but were disappointed with the lack of flavour and heat so decided to grow our own.
Horseradish is like mint - it needs to be confined or it will invade your garden big time. The slightest hint of root left in the garden will multiply and take over. In our last garden we planted ours in a bed separate from anything else and it took a couple of seasons to establish enough that we could harvest roots. In our new garden we have put it in a large planter box and we are looking at harvesting our first roots this coming season.
Harvesting horseradish is interesting to say the least. Firstly the roots are often very skinny and need a really good wash and de-hairing of fine roots. Secondly they are INCREDIBLY pungent. You will start to cry and your nose will nearly explode if you start peeling or chopping them.
We found, after some painful experimentation, that taking the food processer outside (in the photo on the back of SH's work ute) and processing them there was by far the safest option. You still don't want to put your nose anywhere near the processed horseradish even in the fresh air.
We cut the roots up quite small and process them to as close to a paste as we can get.
From there we mix the horseradish pulp with the old-fashioned Highlander Condensed Milk mayonnaise - condensed milk and brown vinegar. Then we freeze the mixture into ice cube containers. When frozen I bag them into zip lock bags.
When I want some sauce for a roast beef I pull a couple of blocks out, defrost them and mix them with a little cream. It is so good.
Horseradish is an acquired taste and there are lots of other ways of using it in cooking. It goes surprisingly well with fish, beetroot, devilled eggs and heaps more.
I dare you to give it a go!