It’s been a while since we whipped up our last batch of mustard — I guess it takes us about a year to use up a pint — and we were starting to scrape the bottom of the jar. Now, we really liked the last version of mustard we’d made: Guinness and Caraway Mustard. It was full of flavor, and we really liked the caraway seeds. But, it’s always worth it to try another recipe.
We went with a recipe that comes from the famous Blackberry Farm, as it was next on the pile of all the mustard recipes we want to try. But, as you’ll see, we did modify it more to our tastes. We’ll mark those changes so you can make either our version, the original version, or perhaps you’ll scratch up your own version.
To buy mustard seeds in these amounts, you’d better head either to an ethnic market, or, if one is nearby, Penzey’s Spices (they’re also online). If you buy the mustard seeds at a normal grocery store, it’ll really cost you, as their prices are often very expensive for what you get. For the wine, use a white wine you like. If you don’t like the taste of the wine, you won’t like the mustard. We noticed that the original recipe contained neither salt, nor a sweetener (the latter we noticed during a taste test), so we added some of each.
Procedure in detail:
Reduce wine. Place the wine in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes. As we got close, we checked by pouring the reduced wine into a measuring cup, and returning it to the pan as needed.
Steep. In a non-reactive bowl, combine the mustard seeds, salt, if using, reduced wine, and vinegars. Give it a stir, cover, and leave it to steep for three days. Yes, right there on the counter. It won’t go bad, as the vinegar makes it inhospitable to microorganisms.
Grind. Okay, the three days have gone by, and you almost forgot about the mustard. Look around and find it, then put it into the bowl of a food processor and run until the seeds are ground to your desired coarseness. It will be liquid-y at this point, but it’ll thicken once you add the mustard powder.
Add dry mustard and sugar. Now that the mustard seeds are ground, add the mustard powder and sugar, if using. Give the processor a few pulses to mix everything together. There you have it: mustard.
Pack. Scrape the mustard into a clean, seal-able jar and place in the refrigerator to mellow and meld for several weeks before using.
Since our mustard is still melding, we won’t rate this recipe quite yet, but we will tell you that it had a strong vinegar flavor before we added the sugar, but that’s to be expected. The other thing we noticed was that, as we started grinding the seeds, the mustard seemed as if it had way too much liquid; it wasn’t until we added the brown sugar that it began to have the consistency of mustard rather than soup. We think that without the two changes we suggest, most people would be disappointed.
Update May 15: We finally tasted the mustard. It’s good, but still quite liquidy, not pourable liquid, more like slump on the knife liquid. Even with the attempted fixes, we still give this just three stars.