A zesty horseradish cream sauce with sweet roasted garlic, cracked pepper, and fresh thyme. Pairs perfectly with your favorite steaks, roasts, seafood,
and makes a great chip dip!
Horseradish Cream Sauce with Roasted Garlic: Take Dinner From Delicious to Wow!
I love a good sauce, especially with roasted meat. Whether it’s a simple au jus, a luxurious pan reduction, or a complementary condiment prepared on the side, a flavorful drizzle or dollop of sauce is the perfect finishing touch to a variety of dishes.
Horseradish Cream Sauce is a classic pairing with beef, such as Slow Roasted Prime Rib or Beef Tenderloin. Usually prepared with sour cream or Crème Fraîche, the sauce is at once tangy, spicy, and cooling, and ultra-luxurious against a well-marbled slice of beef.
I like to add oven-roasted garlic cloves and fresh thyme to my horseradish cream sauce for an extra layer of flavor. The sweet, caramelized garlic provides the perfect background to the sauce and the herbs add a pop of freshness.
Perfect for a holiday feast, this sauce is the finishing touch that will elevate an already delicious cut of meat to something your guests will rave about long after dinner is served.
Roasting Garlic in the Oven
Roasted garlic is one of the easiest things to make and a great flavor booster to add to your repertoire. As the cloves roast, they caramelize, creating a deep, sweet flavor without the sharp pungency of raw garlic.
To make roasted garlic, slice the top off of a head of garlic, exposing the cloves. Then drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of salt, wrap the garlic up in foil, and bake for 30 to 60 minutes. Baking time will depend on the size and age of the garlic heads, and how caramelized you want the final product.
You can also buy a terra cotta or cast iron garlic baker as an alternative to foil. I love to utilize my miniature cast iron cocottes, as photographed here. They distribute the heat well and make a pretty presentation. If you want to roast a bunch of heads of garlic at once, you can also use a larger Dutch oven with the same process.
The kitchen will smell amazing while the garlic is roasting. When the garlic is caramelized to your liking, let it cool until you can handle it, and squeeze the softened cloves out of their skins and use in your favorite recipes.
Roasted garlic is a fantastic addition to dips and sauces, as I’ve used it here. I also love to spread it warm, onto a slice of artisan bread, with a pinch of sea salt. So good.
For more uses, check out these 10 Ways to Use Roasted Garlic from Delish.
Serving Horseradish Cream Sauce
As I mentioned at the start of the post, horseradish cream sauce is a classic pairing with beef. If you have leftover steak or roast beef in the fridge from dinner, use the sauce as a spread for a phenomenal steak sandwich at lunch.
This Horseradish Cream Sauce with Roasted Garlic also has a number of equally delicious serving possibilities beyond grilled and roasted cuts of meat.
Making a baked potato? Swap out the sour cream for a dollop of this sauce. (A little crumbled bacon on top is fabulous, too.) Love roasted beets? They’re even better with a touch of this sauce on the side.
I also love this horseradish cream sauce with grilled salmon fillets and seared scallops. The zesty horseradish and caramelized garlic complements seafood beautifully. It’s also fantastic as a dip for chilled shrimp as an alternative to classic cocktail sauce.
For a casual appetizer, this recipe can also double as a zesty chip dip. So many possibilities for one simple sauce!
Horseradish Cream Sauce with Roasted Garlic
A zesty horseradish cream sauce with caramelized roasted garlic and fresh thyme. Perfect for serving alongside Prime Rib, spread onto steak sandwiches, dolloped onto baked potatoes, or as a dip for shrimp.
- 1 small head garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups sour cream
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves , chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Roast the Garlic
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the top off of the garlic head, exposing the cloves. Remove any loose papery skins.
Place garlic head on a square piece of foil large enough to wrap around it fully, or in a small cast iron cocotte. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and season with a pinch of kosher salt.
Wrap the foil around the garlic to seal, or place the lid on the cocotte. Bake for 40-60 minutes, until golden and caramelized.
When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic cloves from their skins and chop finely.
Make the Sauce
In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and chopped garlic cloves. Mash some of the chopped garlic with the back of the spoon as you're mixing.
Stir in thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours for the flavors to develop. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper before serving.
Buying Prepared Horseradish:
For this sauce, I use refrigerated, jarred "prepared" (or "pure") horseradish. Read the label before buying on this one; it should be simply packed with salt and vinegar. Shelf-stable varieties contain other ingredients and flavoring agents, and will not produce the same results in this sauce.
Heat levels can vary significantly by brand, so adjust the quantity as needed for the horseradish you've purchased.
The flavor of the horseradish will not be at its most prominent when the sauce is first mixed, but will develop as it rests. If you prefer a milder sauce where the roasted garlic is the more prominent flavor, reduce the prepared horseradish to 2 tablespoons.
For easy entertaining, you can roast the garlic up to 5 days in advance and store, wrapped, in the refrigerator.