The Bold Ingredient That Will Completely Upgrade Your Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes in a bowl
Mashed potatoes in a bowl - New Africa/Shutterstock

Whether it's Thanksgiving or just any old Thursday, mashed potatoes offer a beloved culinary side dish that's equal parts delicious and easy to make. As much as we love eating and making them, however, it's not uncommon to wind up with a boring batch. Spuds are naturally mild in taste, so without the addition of seasonings and aromatics, your heaping pot of mashed potatoes may end up falling flat. And sure, butter, salt, and pepper are tried-and-true fixings, but why not jazz it up with a little horseradish to really make the dish pop?

Although it's not a common pairing, including horseradish in your favorite mashed potato recipe breaks the monotony of tradition. It imparts a strong, pungent essence and zesty, sharp taste to a batch of mild tubers, giving your favorite side dish an exciting edge without compromising its creamy and decadent bravado. Hot horseradish is also spicy and bold without bringing out any tears, which adds a fiery dimension to mashed potatoes without turning off picky eaters.

Plus, it pairs well with a wide range of meats, vegetables, and seasonings, so there are plenty of ways to include it in your favorite meals where mashed potatoes are featured as a star side dish.

Read more: French Cooking Tricks You Need In Your Life

The Basics Of Horseradish

Minced and whole horseradish root
Minced and whole horseradish root - photocrew1/Shutterstock

Despite its name, horseradish has nothing to do with the animal. Horseradish is a root vegetable within the mustard family and looks similar to ginger root. If you're familiar with horseradish, you might recognize it as a fixing that's commonly served alongside fresh oysters. And while it's sold in many restaurants and grocery stores in minced form, the more familiar product is a processed variety. Minced horseradish dressing is commonly sold jarred and includes additives like salt and vinegar to give it a more palatable taste. However, horseradish is also sold fresh and whole in the produce section of most supermarkets.

Including it in your mashed potato recipe will require a bit more work if you're using a fresh stock, which requires peeling, grating, and adding in additional flavors if desired. Jarred horseradish is a more convenient option, as you can simply add it to taste straight from the jar as you mash away at the potatoes. However, if you don't want the pickled, vinegary taste of jarred horseradish, fresh is the way to go.

Horseradish is not just a flavorful way to spice up mashed potatoes, it's also a nutrient-dense food high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a double win!

Complementary Pairings For Horseradish

Roast beef, mashed potatoes, and asparagus
Roast beef, mashed potatoes, and asparagus - foto_Pavel/Shutterstock

In addition to mashed potatoes, horseradish is commonly paired with many other foods. For example, roast beef — whether it's crusted onto the edges or served on the side, which is even one of Rachel Ray's favorite recipes. So, next time you're cooking a roast for the family, pair it with horseradish-infused mashed potatoes for a hearty and comforting meal laced with bold flavors.

When it comes to vegetables, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and beets are some go-tos that taste great along horseradish mashed potatoes. Whether you're enjoying the veggies on the side and skewering them with a fork before dipping them into the horseradish taters, or cooking beets into the spicy smashed spuds, both are a match made in heaven.

If you like your mashed potatoes with gravy, an au jus gravy offers a light, savory broth-based sauce that complements the tang of horseradish without overpowering its robust flavor. For a more sophisticated mashed potato sauce, horseradish-tinted red wine gravy is a bright, luxurious way to smother your creamy potatoes, too.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.