Making Mustard (a precursor to sausage)

A few weeks ago I made mustard. Not one mustard, or two, but five, because that's the kind of commitment I have to new things. You'll see this come up again in the next post on sausages, but that was more of a team effort. This effort was going to be a team effort, but was hindered in team-ness by the slow cooling of a certain Black IPA, very recently bottled, and hopefully consumable in a couple weeks. But this isn't a post about beer, no. It's a post about making mustard. Yes.

Condiment recipe books are surprisingly difficult to find, somewhat surprisingly to me. However, I was able to locate a small book on gourmet mustard at Powell's: Gourmet Mustards: the how-tos of making & cooking with mustard, which proved to be quite edifying on how to make mustard and was filled with numerous recipes, some of which follow. Ruhlman and Polcyn's much celebrated (by me, among others) book: Charcuterie: the craft of salting, smoking, and curing also has a small (and compellingly different from the other title, recipe-wise) section on condiments to top their many meats. Their chicken basil tomato sausage will be featured in the next post, but if I may briefly digress, it  featured heavily in this weekend's foods, making its way into a delicious cream pasta last night and a fabulous sausage gravy this a.m. Versatile! But, moving to the meat of the post, let's talk mustards.

Here are the five mustards I made: Caraway Beer Mustard; Dijon Mustard, Honey Dijon Mustard, English Pub Mustard (fantastic with age); Bavarian Brown Mustard.

The first thing, if you're going to endeavor to make mustard is this: buy a LOT of ground mustard. Make friends with the people at the spice shop, because if you're making five mustards, you're going to be purchasing about fifteen dollars worth of dry mustard. If you're in Portland, I recommend Limbo, which is probably the most well-stocked spice / herb shop I have ever been in. Aside from it being a little organic grocer, there is this wall of jarred spices and herbs that will astound you. It's awesome.   So yes, buy yourself some dry mustard.

Learn from me: if you plan to make mustard today, don't plan to eat it for at least a week or two. Immediate mustard eating, particularly mustard that isn't cooked, will clear your sinuses. Perhaps that's what you are looking for in a mustard, and if so, have at it. Mustards that are tangy but won't make you cry right after making are cooked. I learned during this whole process that refrigerating mustard retards its mellowing, which is why mustard should age in a dark, cool place for a while before eating. It really does mellow it. Two weeks in, two of my mustards had considerably less bite and more complex flavor. I think at least of them will continue to mellow and improve.

Okay, ingredients: I'm going to list everything you will need for five different mustards, all of which I made. These recipes make between a cup and two cups each, so if you're storing it, you'll probably want some clean jars.

General ingredients in quantity:

  • Dry Mustard: A lot. Like 5 cups. 
  • Beer / a 12 ounce bottle will do. Stir it down so it's flat. I think we picked an amber ale for this. My thought is that the more flavor the better. 
  • A bottle of dry white wine, I used a chardonnay I think, but I can't actually remember. 
  • A bottle of Sherry. Really, don't buy cooking sherry, unless you want your mustard to taste similar to a salt lick.
  • A jar of honey. Be fancy like me and use the local stuff. Heck, buy it at Limbo.
  • Three Eggs
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • A couple large onions
Spices and other pantry items:
  • Worcestershire (could this be more challenging to type?) sauce 
  • A tablespoon or slightly more of Caraway seeds 
  • Malt vinegar
  • Vegetable oil or canola, which is what I always seem to use
  • Garlic cloves
  • A very small amount of turmeric / less than a teaspoon
  • a half cup of whole brown mustard seeds, also available at Limbo, or likely in bulk at any grocer.

If I can just take a moment: you will save extraordinary amounts of money by buying your spices in bulk. I'd much rather buy a tablespoon of turmeric for .30 than a jar, which would take me a lifetime to use, for $5.99 ... just saying.

You will also need cooking pots, a food processor, a mortar and pestle or rolling pin for crushing seeds, many, many small and medium sized bowls for various ingredients and mixtures, and of course the jars. And spoons. And whisks. And measuring cups and measuring spoons. I think that's about it.


Caraway Beer Mustard: from the Charcuterie book

2 Tbsp dry mustard
6 Tbsp beer (I think it should be flat, as the other recipes I've seen call for this, and it prevents the frothing of the mustard)
1 and 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp caraway seeds (these should be toasted and crushed - you can toast them in a pan over medium heat: you will know they are done when they release that delicious rye bread smell - then you can use the mortar and pestle to crush them or the rolling pin, or what have you)
3 oz malt vinegar (I used Heinz)
2 Tbsp of that local honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt (really, use kosher, table salt is just NOT the same)
3 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp white sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a glass bowl. If you're not familiar with how ingredients should come together, I suggest  whisking the dry mustard, worcestershire, malt vinegar together, then whisking in the yolks, then the honey, then beer, then the salt and sugar. Put this bowl over a pot of simmering water (you're making a double boiler ... or just use a double boiler), and whisk this mixture until it's thickened, which will take a while. Be patient, because you don't want the heat so high that you are cooking the egg yolks. Try not to froth the mustard, but I think the flatter your beer is, the less of a problem this will be. When it's thick, remove it from the heat, cover it, and refrigerate. It's delicious immediately.

Next up: the dijons

So the cool thing here is that dijon mustard is the base of many other mustards, but I'm just going to talk about it and honey dijon. If you're really interested in making more mustards (and who isn't?), you can buy / check out from the library the Gourmet Mustards book.

Dijon Mustard

2 c white wine
1 large onion / chopped
3 cloves of garlic / crushed (I used elephant garlic, because it was on-hand. The garlic flavor was very mellow. For more intense flavor, I think I'd actually use regular garlic)
1 c dry mustard
3 Tbsp local honey
1 Tbsp vegetable oil (again, I use canola. Pretty much in all things)
2 tsp salt (I always go with kosher)

This mustard is a bit more of a labor intensive process than the first, and I think it helps to have a friend on hand for assistance. My friend Caitlin helped me out immensely during the dijon creation.

Heat the wine, onion and garlic in a pot: let it boil, then reduce to let it simmer for about five minutes. I probably let it go six or seven and all was well. I don't think anything is too terribly exact in mustard making, but maybe I'm speaking out of turn. So, after you take this off the heat, you want to strain it. Because I did not (rather insensibly) have a very small-holed strainer at my disposal, I used paper towels in a pasta strainer, and squeezed all the liquid through that way. It worked for me, though probably could have been easier. Cheesecloth may have been a good idea. So return this wine /garlic / onion liquid to the pan, then whisk in the dry mustard until it's smooth, then whisk in the rest of the ingredients. Put this back on the burner and heat over low medium heat, while whisking, until it's thickened. This takes a while. Have patience. After you remove it from the heat, let it cool, then jar and refrigerate it. Yum.

Honey Dijon Mustard (sweet and mild)

Make another batch of the mustard above and then add in third cup of honey. The recipe actually calls for a 1/4 cup, but I think it needs a little more than that. Whisk together and refrigerate in a jar. This is awesome on pretzels. Particularly Fred Meyer's honey wheat pretzels, if you really want to know.

Now for the mustards that improve with age, these can (and were) eaten directly after making, but forewarning: they caused tears among some of the men. I learned while reading about mustard that dry mustard's oil (heat) is released by mixing it with liquid, so when it has just been combined with a wet ingredient, it is at its hottest. Both of these mustards were also served two weeks after creation with homemade sausages, and the English mustard was perfect, but the brown mustard still had bite. The recipe notes that the brown can age up to two months, if you're really planning ahead, like making your Christmas present mustards in October, or your Hanukkah mustards, or other holiday mustards.

English Pub Mustard

This is easy to make, cook-free and food processor blended. You store it in the dark for two weeks then refrigerate it for the duration.

1 c dry mustard (you thought I was kidding when I said buy $15 worth of mustard, but no, no I wasn't)
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt (kosher)
1/4 tsp turmeric (a little turmeric goes a long way : see chicken and dumplings, in this recipe I think it's mostly for a rich yellow coloring)
3/4 c flat beer

Blend the dry ingredients in a food processor, keep the machine on and add the beer slowly through the tube, and let the mixture come together. If you need to, stop the machine and scrape the sides of the bowl, then pulse a few more times to combine. Put it in a jar in the dark. Two weeks, then refrigerate. I'm pretty sure mine is not currently refrigerated, at three weeks, but I'm not sure of the quality retention. I can check it out and update this post at a later date.

Bavarian Brown Mustard :: plan ahead, soaking is required

1/2 c whole brown mustard seed (there are various kinds of mustard seed, so pay attention to what you're buying)
3/4 c dry sherry
1 c dry mustard
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt (kosher ... is there an echo in here?)

Let the mustard seed soak in the sherry for at least two hours. I let it sit about 2 and a half hours. Rinse out your food processor bowl from the last mustard, then combine the sherry / seed mixture until it is almost smooth, but it should be grainy (think of any grainy mustard you see at the grocery, you're going for that look). Add the rest of the ingredients into the processor and pulse until well-blended. Put this in a jar and age two to eight weeks. This mustard does not need refrigeration, but should be stored in a cool place. I'd say after aging it, you might as well throw it in the fridge, as its shelf life will be far extended. And who doesn't want to extend deliciousness?

As you can see, it's pretty easy to make mustard. Five mustards were about a four hour endeavor, not so bad. These mustards were used in the dressing of homemade sausages, two weeks after their creation. That post follows .... soon.



Charlie said...

The pub mustard was my favorite, especially with the Italian sausage and peppers(spoilers!). I will be making my own soon, so good!

Iris E. said...

Um. What the heck? How come I have to read about your food blog through that damn BUZZ??! Girl, you should have been pimping this out to me during FB Scrabble!!!!
Awesome. Will share with a mustard-loving friend!

Andrew said...

Just found your new food blog through your IM profile. Quite the profligate cook, I see! I can't let my mustard loving wife see this post or we'll be up to our ears in homemade mustard too. But perhaps that's not a bad thing.