Friday

How to Make Spicy Mustard

Mustard is a bit like wine. Everyone has a favorite. Good mustard can enhance the flavor of everything from salmon to salad dressing, so sticking with the same old imported mustard (or selecting standard ballpark yellow mustard) is just unimaginative. If the idea of spending a fortune to expand your mustard repertoire doesn't appeal to you, give mustard making a try. It's fun and pretty easy.

Homemade mustard will last for months in the fridge. You can keep it chunky or grind it down for a smooth, creamy base with just enough mustard bits to add interest. You can also spice it up for big flavor in every bite. I love a good mustard, and one nice thing about making your own is that your handcrafted recipe can rival the best mustards out there.

Here's a basic recipe that straddles the fence between bland and zesty. Oh, and since we're in the middle of the holiday countdown, homemade mustard makes a very tasty gift. This recipe yields two to three cups, so there's enough for a couple of small jars (and a pot to keep for yourself, too).

Homemade Mustard Recipe

1 cup beer (Using a dark beer adds flavor.)
1-1/2 cups vinegar (I like Champagne vinegar best, but apple cider vinegar and wine vinegar also work well.)
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon mustard seeds (yellow)
1 small white onion (chopped)
4 Garlic cloves (chopped or crushed)
2 oz. dried, ground mustard
2 tbsp. cold water
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cumin, ground
1/4 tsp. allspice, ground
1/4 tsp. white pepper, ground


Instructions

Combine beer and mustard seeds and refrigerate over two nights in a glass or ceramic container.

Simmer vinegar, sugar, onion and garlic in a non-reactive pan for an hour on medium heat. The liquid should reduce by more than half. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, strain the mixture through two lengths of cheesecloth.

Combine water, mustard powder, salt and other spices. Stir thoroughly to incorporate and let stand at room temperature for an hour.

While the powdered mustard is rehydrating, run the beer mixture through a food processor to grind the softened mustard seeds to the desired consistency.

Slowly add the strained vinegar mixture to the spice mixture, stirring constantly.

Combine the beer mixture with the vinegar mixture in a heavy saucepan.

Simmer for 20 minutes or until the mustard thickens.

Cool and seal in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Let the mustard cure in a cool, dark location for 10 days to two weeks (the longer the better).

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