What is Hren?
Hren is a mixture of Horseradish and Beets (Хрен со свеклой) and is a tasty Slavic condiment. 'Hren' is also how you say horseradish in Russian. Kind of confusing but I suppose nobody would eat just the horseradish root on its own. As a condiment I think it's amazing. You can buy in in Euro Delis, but the canned version is quite bland. Homemade Hren tastes amazing, and has a bit of a kick to it!
Real Horseradish Hren
Horseradish is a plant that is related to the mustard family, with a long white tapered root. The root itself doesn't have a smell, but when you crush or grate it, it releases a pungent smell that burns your eyes and sinuses. Think wasabi, same kind of thing! Store bought horseradish is called Prepared Horseradish. That's what I'll be using for my recipe. While real horseradish is tastier, it's a bit of a pain to use.
Horseradish is incredibly uncomfortable to grate. It causes your eyes to burn, some people even would wear a mask so they don't inhale the horseradish! Too hard basket! It's quick and easy to buy a jar, although you will get a better flavor from real horseradish root. Just don't underestimate the power of real horseradish root!
What type of Prepared Horseradish for Hren?
It's always best to find extra hot prepared horseradish. The label will say EXTRA HOT. The version they sell here in Australia supermarkets is quite mild. I end up mixing in the entire jar with the beets. I have better luck sourcing hot horseradish in the Euro Delis.
How do you eat Hren?
I like to eat Hren with grilled steaks, prime rib or with European Smoked Sausages. If I have a Kolbassa coil, I place a teaspoon of Hren on the sausage and take a bite! Barbecuing steaks? Try Beef Short Ribs! The perfect condiment with a spicy kick! My other favorite steak condiment is Argentinian Chimichurri, but that's another post.
Beet and Horseradish are perfect together! Now you know how to make Hren, a condiment with a wasabi-ish kick. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
How to make Hren (Хрен со свеклой)
- ⅓ cup creamed horseradish extra hot
- 4 round large beets
- 1 tablespoons vinegar for boiling beets
- 4 tablespoons vinegar for Hren mixture
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Put peeled beets in a saucepan, with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook for about 35-45 minutes until tender (can take longer for larger beets). Don't overcook the beets, they must be tender but firm. Drain and run cold water over beets and allow to cool.
- Wearing gloves, grate the beets and put into a mixing bowl. (I didn't and now have pink hands)
- Add ½ horseradish and combine together. Add the salt and vinegar. Taste and adjust horseradish if necessary.
- Put in a clean sterilised jar and keep refrigerated. Best if you allow flavours to infuse overnight before eating. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!