Horseradish Effortlessly Takes Braised Beef To The Next Level

Braised beef in pan
Braised beef in pan - Natalia Hanin/Shutterstock

Braising is the ideal technique to turn both cheap cuts of beef like chuck roast and more indulgent varieties like short ribs into a meal that's flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth tender. When done right, your cut of beef only needs a handful of other ingredients to give it layers of flavor, perhaps with red wine, herbs, aromatics, and plenty of black pepper and salt. Out of everything that goes into your pot, earthy, spicy, and pungent horseradish will take your braised beef to new heights — so much so that you might not make it any other way again.

This simple addition works so well because of its flavor and spice levels. Braised beef is rich and tender, and horseradish's pungent kick cuts through that flavor for a nice pairing. The ingredient also adds a level of spicy heat, depending on what kind and how much you use, to contrast with the acidity of the tomatoes, wine, and other flavorful ingredients. Add horseradish to upgrade Tasting Table's red-wine braised beef short ribs from recipe developer Michelle McGlinn who creates a base with garlic, tomato paste, red wine, and vegetables.

Read more: The Most Popular Cuts Of Steak Ranked Worst To Best

When To Use Fresh Horseradish, Prepared, Or Sauce On Braised Beef

Fresh horseradish on cutting board
Fresh horseradish on cutting board - Andrii Pohranychnyi/Getty Images

You might pair braised beef with prepared horseradish or horseradish sauce, but fresh also works — just check for these signs when you buy fresh horseradish at the store. This option is strongest in flavor and spice, so use it if you like more of a kick. For 5 pounds of beef, such as brisket, you might only need ¼ cup of freshly-grated horseradish to add to the base with the broth and other liquids. You'll likely have leftovers of the root vegetable, so don't forget to store horseradish in the best way to maintain its freshness.

Then there's bottled prepared horseradish, which is easier to work with but has milder flavor and spice levels. It's made of the root, vinegar, salt, and sometimes other add-ins. Mix it into the pot with the liquids just as you would with the fresh alternative. It's milder, but you still won't need very much to give the dish an impressively pungent kick. Use about 2 to 3 tablespoons for a 2 ½-pound chuck roast, for example. To give braised beef the essence of horseradish in an easier manner, use horseradish sauce instead. This is when the root is combined with the likes of mayonnaise or sour cream, and should be served as a condiment. Buy a store-bought bottle of horseradish sauce or make it yourself to elevate any braised beef recipe.

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