We’re starting to run low on mustard, but being scratchers, rather than add it to our shopping list, we just start up another batch. Years ago, we would buy mustard already prepared. It just seemed too complicated to make it on our own. A huge number of ingredients, cooking, grinding, pounding; who knew exactly what it entailed? We can tell you: nothing more than mixing and a bit of processing in a blender or food processor. Literally five minutes of effort.
Since we make our own, we like to try making different types of mustard, although we’re a bit disappointed that it takes us about a year to use a pint of mustard, meaning we only get to try one new mustard each year. We just know that we’ll never settle on a favorite; we’ll just keep trying new versions. This version is a variation on one we found in Sean Brock’s book Heritage, and should be similar to what’s used at Husk (a restaurant in Nashville), at least according to the book.
Obviously, buy a beer you like. If you don’t like the beer, you won’t like the mustard. Or, if you don’t like beer at all, use a wine you like, instead. Mustard seeds in this quantity would be outrageously expensive if you bought them at a grocery store, but you can find them at Asian markets for a lot less, or there’s always Penzey’s spices (we have one in town, lucky us) which has really good prices, too. For the vinegar: the original called for cider vinegar, but we used a white wine vinegar; we think you can use any vinegar you like.
Procedure in detail:
Steep mustard seeds. You probably want to start this recipe late in the day, because you’re about to have some leftover beer that you’ll need to dispose of properly. However you choose to do that, well, that’s up to you. We have our preference. Measure out the mustard seeds into a pint jar and pour the beer over the top. You’ll have beer left over, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Cover the mustard seeds and beer and let steep, yep, right on the counter, for 12 to 24 hours.
Add remaining ingredients. Okay, you disposed of that beer from yesterday, so now measure out the remaining ingredients into your pint jar and give everything a good stir to ensure the sugar and salt dissolve. Close the lid on the jar.
Refrigerate and meld. Place your jar in the refrigerator to meld for 30 days. Yes, a month. Well, we don’t think a day or two either way will make any difference, so go with approximately a month.
Grind. Place the mustard in a blender or food processor and grind to your desired consistency. We don’t show this step, because it’ll happen sometime in March.
See, easy, isn’t it? We’ve made several batches of mustard over the years and they’ve always turned out well (one of them did have to be fixed up from the original recipe), and we expect the same from this mustard, too. If we remember, we’ll give this a rating when we taste it, but, by then, you could have your own home-scratched mustard to try yourself.