I always want horseradish sauce with roast beef. Always.1
When I publish a new beef roast recipe, like Tuesday’s Rotisserie Sirloin Roast or a Standing Rib Roast, I always add “serve with horseradish sauce!” But, until now, my horseradish sauce is embedded in one of my earliest recipes, Rotisserie Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Herb Butter and Horseradish Sauce. My sister-in-law asked me how to make it a few weeks ago. Trying to explain (and remember) where it was on the blog inspired me to break it out into its own recipe.
What is Horseradish Sauce?
Horseradish sauce is a mix of sour cream and prepared horseradish. When I say this is a recipe, I’m really stretching the definition of “recipe.” I use four store bought ingredients, all from my refrigerator or pantry. The instructions? Dump everything in a bowl and stir until it’s combined, then taste and add more horseradish if it needs it. Also, two of the ingredients are optional. If I have sour cream and prepared horseradish, I’m ready to make horseradish sauce. (Don't skip the mustard and pepper if you have them. They make the sauce more interesting.)
- Sour Cream
- Prepared Horseradish
- Dijon Mustard
- Fresh ground black pepper
How to Make Horseradish Sauce
Mix the sauce: Put the sour cream, prepared horseradish, dijon mustard, and fresh ground black pepper in a bowl, and stir until evenly mixed. Taste and add more horseradish if it is not hot enough for you. Enjoy!
This is a sour cream horseradish sauce, so the only important ingredients are the sour cream and the horseradish, in a 2:1 ratio. Everything else is optional, but I like to add a few extras to add some complexity to the sauce.
Lemon juice: I like the tart mustard flavor that Dijon brings to the party, but you can substitute some fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Chives (or other herbs): Replace the fresh ground black pepper with chopped chives, or rosemary, or thyme, or a mix. If you have a herb rub on your roast, you can use those same herbs in the sauce.
Prepared Horseradish Rant
If there’s a trick to this recipe, it’s finding refrigerated prepared horseradish. Prepared horseradish is shredded horseradish root, soaked in vinegar with a little salt. The vinegar soak pulls the flavor out of the horseradish; without the vinegar, freshly grated horseradish is bland. (It’s a lot like mustard - mustard seeds on their own are good, but crush them and soak them in vinegar for a few days, and they come into their own.)
Look for prepared horseradish in your grocery’s refrigerated case - and you may have to ask where it is. Grocery stores seem to be hiding it from me. The vinegar makes me want to look for it near the pickles...but one local grocery store keeps it near the cheese, another near the yogurt. Go figure.
Avoid shelf-stable prepared horseradish or horseradish sauces - in my experience, they never have the bite of the prepared horseradish from the refrigerator section. If I have no other choice, I’ll buy shelf-stable horseradish sauce and use it straight from the bottle. They’re not bad, but they’re for spreading on a sandwich, not for serving with a roast.
What is Horseradish Sauce Good On?
Beef! I serve this sauce with prime rib roast, tomahawk prime rib steak, filet mignon... basically every roasted or grilled piece of beef. Leftover roast beef sandwiches get a layer of leftover horseradish sauce on top. It's also good with lean roasts like roast turkey, pork loin, or ham, that need a little extra kick of heat and flavor.
Refrigerate leftover horseradish sauce, covered, for up to a week. It doesn't freeze well, so I toss it after a week and mix up a fresh batch when I need one.
Inspired by: Alton Brown's Horseradish Cream SaucePrint
A quick horseradish sauce. Four pantry ingredients, stir, and voila: the best friend a beef roast ever had.
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup prepared horseradish (from the refrigerator case at the grocery store)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (optional)
- Make the sauce: Stir the sour cream, horseradish, mustard, and pepper in a small bowl. Taste and add more horseradish if it needs more kick.
The measurements are just estimates; when I make this recipe, I eyeball it. I want roughly 2 parts sour cream, 1 part horseradish, and a little mustard and pepper.
This recipe scales up or down as needed. Serving a crowd? Double it. (or triple, or quadruple…)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Dump and stir
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Horseradish Sauce Recipe, Quick horseradish sauce
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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