Russian Hron Horseradish Recipe
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So, what is Hrеn (Hron)? Hren means “horseradish” but it refers to a horseradish relish. It pairs really well with meat, particularly turkey and it’s awesome on any kind of kielbasa.
As it is, hren is easy, even if you do cook your own beets. It’s potent stuff (I guess it depends on whose Hren you try). The one made by Maria for church dinners usually makes your eyes water, just like a nice punch of wasabi!
Ingredients for Russian Hren Horseradish (hron):
1/4 cup of Cream-style Horseradish (we used extra-hot version, we like it HOT)
2 large beets
1/4 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar for boiling beets PLUS 1/2 tsp vinegar for final product
3/4 tsp salt for boiling beets PLUS 1/8 tsp salt for final product
How to make Russian/ Ukrainian Horseradish Hren:
1. Place washed beets in the medium pot and cover with enough water to just cover the top of the beets. Add 1 Tbsp vinegar and 3/4 tsp salt to the water and boil about 1 hour, or until beets are easily pierced with a knife (cooking time for beets depends on what kind of beets you have).
2. Once beets are done, let them cool to room temperature. Use a plastic bag or gloves to remove skin from beets. If you don’t use gloves, your hands and nails will stain a bright pink. Finely grate beets using fine grater.
3. Once beets are grated, add 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp vinegar and 1/8 tsp salt and mix. Than add 1/4 cup of horseradish or to taste. If you like it super HOT, use less of the beets and more horseradish, just make sure you warn your dinner guests.
(You can also add more salt, vinegar or sugar to taste).
There you have it.
Russian Hren Horseradish Recipe
- 1/4 cup of Extra Hot Cream-style Horseradish
- 2 large beets
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp vinegar + 1/2 tsp
- 3/4 tsp salt + 1/8 tsp
Place washed beets in the medium pot and cover with enough water cover the top of the beets. Add 1 tbsp vinegar and 3/4 tsp salt to the water and boil about 1 hour, or until beets are easily pierced with a knife.
Cool cooked beets to room temperature. Use gloves to remove skin from beets. Finely grate beets using fine grater.
Once beets are grated, add 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp vinegar and 1/8 tsp salt and mix. Than add 1/4 cup of horseradish or to taste. You can also add more salt, vinegar or sugar to taste.
Regular Horseradish can be used, just add more.
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
Do you think you could use canned beets for this recipe or would they be too soft?
Hi Carma, I haven’t tested that myself to advise, but here’s what one of my readers wrote: “We always use canned beets, so we can make it in a flash. Our side of the family is always in charge of the Hren. We have found that the creamy horseradish works best with ham and prime rib. This is a favorite of ours at Christmas and Easter!” I hope that helps!
Is there anyway we be able to can this? Suggested information on how to would be great! Thanks
Hi Jessica, we never attempted to can this recipe so I can’t offer any advice on canning.
Do you have any idea how many cups of grated beets you ended up with. Kind of hard to judge with just the photos of the beets.
Hi Chris, around 2 cups approximately.
My Lithuanian grandpa used to make this! I remember him grating the horseradish by hand (he grew his own) out on the back porch. So spicy but so good. Thanks for bringing back some awesome memories 🙂
You’re welcome, Amber. I hope you’ll also love our version and recipe!
Oh yes! I forgot! It is not easy to find horseradish everywhere in the world (We are in the moment in Tahiti…). I found that replacing horseradish with Wasabi works great!
that’s great to know that wasabi is a good substitution for horseradish. Interesting!
In Serbia we also add grated carrots…delicious 😋
that sounds great with added grated carrot. Thank you so much for sharing!
Hi Julia, my mom (Ukrainian) used to make this from scratch every fall, grating the cooked beets, and the raw horseradish which she did outside. When I do not have access to fresh beets, I purchase 2 cans of cooked sliced beets and use a potato masher instead of grating them. Works perfectly, Yum….yum.
Sounds good! Thanks for sharing that with us, Dianne.
Since beets come in so many different sizes, could you give me an approximate weight (either in lbs or grams) of how much 2 large beets equates to?
Hi Julia, it’s hard to say since I didn’t measure them that way. I would recommend looking at the images in the recipe post for size comparison.
How do you make the hreb with using fresh real horseradish root? And not already prepared horseradish from a jar?
Hi Christine, my parents have done that and it is stronger in flavor but it can be done.
We grew up using real HR root from the garden in this, never from a jar. I use 1/4 to 1/3 as much HR as beets depending on your heat tolerance. Add vinegar, salt and some sugar, let sit for a few hours then enjoy with ham or kielbasa.
We always had this with kolbasa at the Paschal trapedza. Being a vegetarian as an adult I wonder if anyone has suggestions for what it can accompany that does not feature meat. Would it go with bliny and smetana for example? Fish?
Which reminds me of another matter. On myasopustnaya we used to have a scrumptious but simple parish lunch after Liturgy that consisted mostly of fish solyanka and bliny with faintly sweet pink smetanya. Does anybody know what could be added to the smetanya to colour and flavour it? I’ve thought of grenadine, maraschino cherry juice, cherry extract with sugar and food colouring but I don’t know what is authentic. I am separated by thousands of kilometres and several decades from my childhood parish and there is no one I can ask.
I hope some of our readers will share their tips with us! Thank you Severian!
this goes nicely with pickled herring
Hard boiled eggs with the beets and horseradish is how we always ate it. YUM
Sugar and beet juice would do it.
My grandmother was Slovak and I have had her horseradish and beets for years. Not that I’m lazy but I started using sweet and sour jarred whole beets. I drain jar keeping liquid just in case. Run the whole beets thru food processor. Then add jarred horseradish (grated) to taste. We like it hot.
I make this every Christmas and it would be missed if not on our table. Yes it does taste like Gram’s. Try it. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
I will have to try that!! I thank you for sharing this with me, Chris! Merry Christmas!
I just found your site, and I love it so far.
I found this recipe on another site:
I assume it’s nearly the same as yours since the ingredients are similar.
I’m going to try making it soon. It looks and sounds great!
Hi Tim! I’m so happy you discovered our blog! Welcome!
Can I use beets from costco cooked already.
Hi Elizabeth, I haven’t tried Costco’s pre-cooked beets (and I have never seen them before in Costco – are they canned?) I think a pre-cooked beet should work fine as long as it doesn’t have too many extra flavorings added that may conflict.
excellent with cabbage rolls and meat balls
I’m glad you enjoy the recipe Liz!
We call our version: Hryn…I use the hot horseradish, drained. 3 bottle of it. We don’t put vinegar or salt in the boiling of the beets. After they have been cooked and peeled, and riced, we add a pickle, consisting of vinegar, salt and pepper and sugar, brought to a boil, and poured into the riced beets, then the horseradish is added, and incorporated into the beet mixture. As mine is distributed around the family, its never really given a hot water bath as its eaten right away.
That sounds great Evelyn! Thanks for sharing your tips! 🙂
Do you need to ‘hot water bath’ this relish if making a large quantity for winter use?
PS.Thank you for the recipe!
Jeanette, we never attempted to can this recipe so I can’t offer any advice on canning.
Just made it as i miss it so much since so far away from Ukranian family.. Love it the only thing i changed was i roasted the beets. Thanks so much and cannot wait to roast up a prime rib roast for sunday dinner.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
Because I love beets, I just made this.
Could u give me a few examples on what to serve this with?
Hi Carol, it’s really good with turkey meat, any kind of kielbasa or pork meat.
Thank you, if I find something else it goes with, I will let u know!
i serve this with ham – ham sandwiches pork – goes with any meat like a relish or side – my kids eat it with anything!! It is fabulous couldn’t find my old recipe so used thi one – just as fabulous!! I can 24 jars a year and it isn’t enough as everyone wants some!!!
Hi Susan! What method do you use to can/preserve hren? Do you do anything differently in the recipe?
this is a fabulous condiment but i think the proportions are way out of kilter. more sugar and vinegar and less horeradish for only 2 beets. also it doesn’t cost $5 for these ingredients. less than $1 for sure, maybe around 50 cents depending on what beets are going for.
Hi Cameron, have you tried Hron before? It’s supposed to be pretty hot and this is the way we like it, but you could definitely make it more mild to taste.
I hope you get a chance to post a recipe for Ukie sweet bread (Paska), I love all your recipes 🙂
Wonderful thanks! I will look into making this to have over Ukrainian Easter. My Ukrainian mum calls this beet & horseradish relish recipe Tsvikla, do you call it Hren?
Will you be posting a Paska (Ukrainian easter sweet bread) recipe? That would be nice! 🙂
Yes, we call it hren. 🙂 I’ll try to post a sweet bread for Easter, but no guarantees. Life is pretty hairy right now.
That is very interesting. In Poland we called it actually “ćwikła z chrzanem” (Tsvikla with hren).
Ćwikła (Tsvikla) originally meant beetroots, different sorts of them. In Polish “buraki” (beetroots) as a word appeared only in XVIII century. Thus tsvikla nowadays means the beetroot relish but not necessary with the horseradish. Sometimes it depends as well on the region the people are coming from in Poland.
Chrzan (hren, hron, horseradish) we can eat as well as a condiment (relish) without beetroots, to the sausages, meat or boiled eggs.
So in Poland you can meet actually three relishes: ćwikła, chrzan and ćwikła z chrzanem 🙂
I’d love to learn more about Poland; especially recipes. I’m looking forward to seeing more recipes on your blog (I checked it out this morning!) 🙂 Keep up the great work!
Thanks for letting me know.
I am unable to buy those beautiful large beets in your picture, shall I use 3 beets the size of apples? Do you think that 3 teaspoons of cream style horesradish will ok with the 3 apple sized beets? 🙂
Yes, regular beets will work just fine. My mom just planted some long ones. You can add the horseradish to taste. Some people like it stronger, some like it less strong. Start with 2 teaspoons and work your way up. I think 3 teaspoons will have a nice kick to it 🙂
Can this also be canned & preserved or do you refrigerate this after it is made? If so how long will it last in the fridge? Thanks
I refrigerate it after it’s cooked. I’m not sure if it can be preserved. I’ve never tested it. It was all gone in less than 2 weeks. But yes, it can last over a week.
Is this the kind of hren you eat with holodets or no?
My husband says, “yes”
Oh ok thanks 🙂 Never tried holodets with hren before. Does your family eat holodets?
My mom makes it sometimes. It’s something I would like to learn myself 🙂
We always use canned beets, so we can make it in a flash. Our side of the family is always in charge of the Hren. We have found that the creamy horseradish works best with ham and prime rib. This is a favorite of ours at Christmas and Easter!
Thanks Lisa! I’ll definitely try canned next time!
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Canned beets will work. Make sure you get the plain ones. The texture will be a bit different though.
What variety of beets are those in the photos? I have never seen any that look like them. Well….the truck loads of sugar beets.
My mom grew those this year, they are the deepest red beets I’ve ever seen. I have no idea what they are called but they are her favorite variety. I’ll have to ask her.