This recipe makes about 1 1/2 quarts. It should be enough for about 8 people. However, if you know that you've got company coming that REALLY like this dish you might want to make more.
The only problems you might have is in the horseradish. The heat comes form the oils in the root. If it's been out of the ground too long, it might dry up and lose it's heat. When purchasing the root at a store, we'll scrape it with a fingernail to see if we can smell it. If there's no smell, there's no heat. In keeping with that line of thought, keep the horseradish and the horseradish and beets covered as long as possible, the longer that the horseradish is exposed to the air, the more heat it'll lose.
And finally, if you've used fresh horseradish, save the tops, you can quarter them and plant them for next year. It takes 2 years to get thick roots, but you can have some fresh as early as the next year after planting.
1 Whole Root Fresh Horseradish
8 Medium Red Beets
Water, as needed
3 Tablespoons Vinegar, as needed
1 Teaspoon Salt
Or use the "Quick Method":
3 Jars Aunt Nellie's, Whole, Pickled Beets
1 8 Oz. Jar Silver Spring Prepared Horseradish, or less, as needed
3 Tablespoons White Vinegar, to taste
1. Trim all but about 1 1/2" of tops from the beets and wash. Boil them for about 30 minutes, or until tender. You can do this the day before and store them in the refrigerator to cool off. By leaving a little of the tops on the beets, they won't bleed as much.
2.Cut the tops off, and peel the beets. If you're concerned about red hands, wear gloves.
3. Grate the beets into a bowl large enough to hold both them AND the horseradish. I use a large grater, Wally uses a small one.
4. Peal the chop the horseradish into small pieces.
5. Place a little in a blender with a little of water to assist in the blending process. Blend at a fairly low speed until the horseradish is chopped fairly fine. Place in a bowl and continue until all of the horseradish is chopped up. If you don't have a blender, you could use a small grater. Just be sure you keep a window open and keep your face away from the bowl.
6. Behind the horseradish bowl you'll see 2 different types of small graters.
7. Add the horseradish to the beets, tasting as you go along until you get the strength to your liking. Add about 2 tablespoons vinegar and a little salt. Taste. keep adding a little bit of vinegar at a time tasting as you go.
8. Serve the rest of the horseradish on the side in order that some people can add to their own helping of beets.
9. Quick method:
Use a food processor's bottom blade to chop up the beets, and mix everything up. Then add the vinegar and salt as above.