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Making It With Mustard

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    Posted: 08 January 2013 at 13:15

Making It With Mustard 

 

Our recent discussions about gravlaxsås highlights the simple culinary fact that there’s a lot more to mustard than the ballpark condiment we’re so used to.  

Mustard is actually one of the oldest condiments around. There are biblical references to it, for instance, and some works that pre-date the bible also discuss it as both a culinary and medicinal herb. In all that time, however, the basic method of preparing mustard remains the same. The seed is ground into a powder and mixed with a liquid---usually, but not always, an acidic one.  

There are, literally, hundreds of blends making up prepared mustard, each of which has its own flavor profile.  

 

The actual flavor and appearance of prepared mustard is determined by several factors: the type of seed used; the grind; the liquid chosen; and other ingredients added for flavor and appearance. The bright yellow of ballpark mustard, for example, comes from the addition of turmeric.

Culinary mustard seed comes in three colors. In order of increasing potency they are white or yellow mustard (Sinapis hirta), brown mustard (Brassica juncea), and black mustard (Brassica niger). Interestingly, while black mustard is primarily used in Indian foods, brown mustard is also known as Indian mustard. Go figure. 

 

Potency of the seed is affected by age. The younger the seed, in each case, the more potent it will be. This degradation is accelerated once the seed is ground. So, the first clue to preparing great mustards is to prepare it in small quantities, grinding the seed as you need it.  

Most commercial mustards are made in the smooth form. To achieve this, the husks are removed, and the rest of the seed ground finely into what is called “mustard flour.” That’s the same mustard powder you can buy off any spice shelf. Whole grain mustard is made by cracking the seed, mixing it with mustard flour, and adding the liquid. Essentially, whole grain mustard is regular prepared mustard with cracked husks mixed in. Sometimes whole seeds are included as well.  

 

When making it at home, you merely grind the entire seed into powder, and not worry about the husks. If you want whole grain mustard, just pulse the grinder to crack some of the seed, set it aside, then turn the rest into flour.

Commercial mustards, and most home-made ones, do not require refrigeration. Because of their acid content, they will not support the growth of mold, bacteria, or other harmful pathogens. Storing mustard at room temperature, however, hastens the loss of potency, so it’s a good idea to store prepared mustard in the fridge.

No matter which seed you choose, ultimate flavor is affected by the liquid chosen. The majority of prepared mustards use vinegar as the base. But that’s not always true. Classic English mustard is made strictly with water, as is Chinese mustard. Irish mustard is made with either stout or whisky. Beer mustard, as the name implies, uses beer. It’s one of the “newest” forms of prepared mustard, having originated in the American mid-west in the 20th century.

Other mustards use wine, or a combination of wine and vinegar, to achieve their flavor. Dijon mustard is the most well-known of these. It’s also among the most misunderstood mustards.

When Dijon mustard was first formulated in 1856, in Dijon, France, it used a combination of verjus and white wine as the liquid base, giving it a distinctive flavor. Verjus (or verjuice) is an incredibly sour-tasting liquid made from unripened grapes, on the continent, or from crab apples, in England.

Dijon mustard, nowadays, uses white wine and vinegar, instead of the verjus. If you want to make your own, verjus is back on the market from a handful of artisan producers, so you can  go for the original. Or just use one of the modern recipes. 

Contrary to conventional belief, Dijon mustard is not recognized by the European Union as a protected product, and does not carry a PDO classification. In fact, most of it is made in America and marketed under the familiar Grey Poupon label---an imprinteur of Kraft Foods.

What all this means is if you want to vary the flavor of mustard, change the liquid. Take a standard recipe and, for instance, try mixing it with beer instead of vinegar.

Finally, mustard flavor is affected by other ingredients. These range from herbs, other spices, horseradish, sugars of various kinds, and even fruit. Sometimes, as with Creole mustard, they have to age in order to bring out their full flavors. Other times they depend on thickeners and smoothers to create a sauce-like preparation, such as starting with simple Chinese mustard and creating a creamy dipping sauce.  And sometimes another flavor determines the hallmark of the mix, as when using sugar in German style mustards.

As many of you know, I am not a big fan of Wikipedia. But I did find, there, an interesting breakdown of mustards by type that might prove useful. Here it is in a slightly edited form:

American mustard is the most commonly used mustard in the United States and Canada.. A very mild prepared mustard colored bright-yellow by turmeric, it was introduced in 1904 by George T French as "cream salad mustard".

Spicy brown or "deli style" mustard is also commonly used in the United States. The seeds are coarsely ground, giving it a speckled brownish-yellow appearance. In general, it is spicier than yellow mustard.

Beer mustard, which substitutes beer for vinegar, originated in the 20th century somewhere in the American Midwest and has remained a popular local condiment.

Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic "green" juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe. In general, mustards from Dijon today contain white wine rather than verjuice. Dijon mustard is not covered by a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) under the auspices of the European Union. As a result, while there are major mustard plants in Dijon and suburbs most "Dijon" mustard is manufactured elsewhere, most prominently in the United States under the Grey Poupon brand.

In whole-grain mustard, also known as granary mustard, the seeds are mixed whole with other ingredients. Different flavors and strengths can be achieved through different blends of mustard seed species.

Honey mustard is a blend of mustard and honey, typically 1:1. It commonly used both on sandwiches and as a dip for finger foods such as chicken strips. It can also be combined with vinegar and/or olive oil to make a salad dressing.

Combinations of English mustard with honey or demerara sugar are used in British cuisine to coat grilled lamb cutlets or pork chops.

Fruit mustards: Fruit and mustard have been combined since the Lombard creation of mostarda di frutta in the 14th century. Large chunks of fruit preserved in a sweet, hot mustard syrup were served with meat and game, and were said to be a favorite of the Dukes of Milan. Variations of fruit mustards include apple mustard, apricot-ginger mustard, berry mustard, cranberry mustard, lemon mustard, orange and honey mustard, and pineapple and honey mustard.

Hot mustards: The term hot mustard historically usually referred to mustards prepared to bring out the natural piquancy of the mustard seeds. This is enhanced by using pungent black or brown mustard seeds rather than the white mustard seeds used to make mild mustards.

Sweet mustard (Bavarian) is made from kibbled mustard seed and sweetened with sugar, applesauce or honey. It is typically served with Weisswurst or Leberkase. There are regional differences within Bavaria toward the combination of sweet mustard and Leberkase. Other types of sweet mustards are known in Austria and Switzerland.

(Photos from various internet sources; I want to thank Ron for finding and downloading the photos for this article.)

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Following are some recipes to get you started making your own mustards. I’m hoping other members will add to it. Keep in mind, if you post a mustard recipe usually associated with an ethnic or geographic region, to post it on the appropriate forum as well, and link back to this thread.
 
One thing to keep in mind: Always use a whisk when adding liquid to powdered mustard. Otherwise it is likely to clump.

English Mustard
 
1/4 cup brown mustard seed, ground fine
2 tbls all-purpose flour
1 tsp turmeric
¼ cup cold water
 
Combine the mustard, flour, and turmeric until well blended. Whisking steadily, add the water. Let stand at least ten minutes for the flavor to develop fully.
 
Dijon Mustard
 
4 oz mustard powder
2 tbls honey
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup chopped shallot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbls vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
2 glugs hot sauce, or to taste
 
In a saucepan combine the honey, wine, vinegar, shallot and garlic. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer five minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool.
 
Put the mustard into the same saucepan, and strain the wine mixture into it, whisking it smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Cool in a nonreactive bowl, cover, and refrigerate two days before using, to blend flavors.
 
There are dozens of Irish-style mustard recipes. This one comes from Saveur magazine.
 
Spicy Guinness Mustard
 
1 12-oz bottle Guinness Extra Stout
1 ½ cups brown mustard seed (10 oz)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbls kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
 
Combine ingredients in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 days so that the mustard seeds soften and the flavors meld.
 
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and process, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until the seeds are coarsely ground and the mixture thickens, about three minutes. Transfer to a jar and cover.
 
Refrigerate overnight or for up to six months. The flavor of the mustard will mellow as the condiment ages.
 
A simpler recipe comes from Bon Appetit magazine:
 
Guinness Mustard
 
½ cup coarse-grained Dijon mustard
2 tbls regular Dijon mustard
2 tbls Guinness stout or other stout or porter
1 tbls minced shallot
1 tsp golden brown sugar
 
Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or up to two days.
 
Spicy German Mustard
 
1/3 cup yellow mustard seed
2 heaping tbls brown or black mustard seed
¼ cup mustard flour
½ cup cold water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 tbls brown sugar, packed
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp dry, or 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Pinch turmeric for color (optional)
1 tbls honey
 
Combine mustards and water in a bowl. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes, until mixture thickens to a paste.
 
In a saucepan combine next nine ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Whisk into mustard mixture.
 
Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until mustard is slightly thickened but grains are still visible. Return to saucepan. Heat on medium low for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
 
Remove from heat, add honey, stirring well. Cool. Cover and chill for three days in fridge, then transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid.

As noted above, at its simplest, Chinese mustard is merely mustard flour and water. However, there’s no need to stop there. Here, for example, is a recipe adapted from Cindy Pawlcyn that kicks it up a notch. Cindy developed it as a condiment for her mini duck burgers, but it makes a great dipping sauce as well:
 
Chinese-Style Mustard Sauce
 
¼ cup sugar
2 tbls brown mustard powder
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup red wine vinegar
6 tbls crème fraiche or sour cream
 
Combine the sugar and mustard powder in the top of a double boiler and whisk well. When well combined, whisk in the egg yolk and vinegar. Cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes, until the mixture forms ribbons when drizzled from a spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Fold in the crème fraiche. Keep refrigerated until needed.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2013 at 13:43
Impressive job, Brook - it's always nice to see something transform from concept into reality!
 
Very informative and useful - thanks for taking the time to put it together!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2013 at 13:48
You're quite welcome, Ron. And thanks, again, for handling the photos.
 
Hopefully other members will post their favorite mustard recipes, and we'll wind up with a really nice thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2013 at 15:04
Very valuable post Brook. We have driven up to the Maille Factory in Dijon. We enjoy green peppercorn Dijon and the classic brass toned variety. Appreciate the white wine classic recipe. Shall try the recipe in future. Have special ceramic Dijon artisanal canisters especially for this. Informative feature. TU for posting. Lovely fotos too. Margaux.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2013 at 15:20
I've never thought of making my own mustard. I have to admit, I don't use mustard much. I use spicy brown on hotdogs and plain yellow in a hot sauce/BBQ sauce that I make. That's it.

I do have some black mustard seeds that I use in Eastern Indian foods that I make. Like curd rice. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2013 at 16:18
A really informative post, thanks for the effort!!

Here is my Dijon, much better than store bought.
Not sure where I got the recipe.
    * 1 cup of onion (chopped)
    * 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
    * 2 tablespoons of honey
    * 4 oz of dry mustard
    * 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
    * 2 teaspoons of salt
    * 4 drops of Tabasco sauce
    * 2 cups of dry white wine

   1.     Get a small pot and heat the garlic, wine, oil, and onion to a boil.
   2.     Place the heat setting to a low one and simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and pour the mixture into a bowl. Let it cool on the side.
   3.     Put the dry mustard into a small saucepan and then strain the wine mixture into the saucepan. Mix well until texture is smooth and then add the Tabasco sauce, salt, and honey.
   4.     Put the pan on a low heat setting and constantly stir until the mustard mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and then store mixture in a non-metal container.
   5.     Place the mustard in the refrigerator for about two days. This will help blend all the flavors together.

I also use both yellow and brown mustard seed in my crawfish/shrimp/crab boil mix. Really makes a difference!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 January 2013 at 16:24
Rod, you might try spreading some of that yellow mustard on your ribs before coating them with a rub. It acts as a glue, but any mustard flavor is subtle at best.
 
Mark: Sounds like a winner. Thanks for posting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2013 at 02:29
For those interested:
 
I am a purchaser of  4 French, Dijon based mustards produced in France ( we live in Madrid for professional purposes and Puglia for enchantment ) and these companies have recipes online:
 
1) MOUTARDE DE DIJON BY ERIC BUR
 
2) MOUTARDE DE DIJON BY DELOUIS
 
3) MOUTARDE DE DIJON BY MAILLE ( most common export within Europe )
 
4() EDMOND FALLOT DIJON MUSTARD
 
Though, I have never prepared home made mustard; I have prepared Mustard & Mascarpone Spread for my Bruschettas or Canapés ... & DIJON MUSTARD VINAIGRETTES uncountable times.
 
My Mustard Vinaigrette ...
 
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tblsp. Dijon brand or homemade mustard
1 tblsp. mountain honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt fine grain or kosher salt
1/2 garlic clove
Evoo 1/2 cup + if needed
 
Place all in blender and combine ... Slowly add Evoo and season with freshly ground peppercorns rose, black, green and white ...
 
Enjoy;
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2013 at 13:22

I have posted this before, but this Swedish mustard sauce, called gravlaxsås, is worth trying:

 
It is traditionally made for gravlax
 
 
However, it is truly wonderful for so much more, including probably any kind of fish as well as pork, chicken, potato and vegetable dishes. It has a very well-balanced flavour, sweet, sour and salty working very well together, with spicy highlights from the mustard and pepper, as well as as bright dill profile that brings everything together. Recently, I severed it as a garnish for potatis korv, and it worked very, very well, providing a great contrast in a dish that can be thought of as bland.
 
The recipe can be found here:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2013 at 08:40
There is an unfortunate tendency to think of prepared mustard as someting that goes direction on another food. Nothing really wrong with that.
 
But let's not forget that mustard---dry or prepared---can also be used as a flavoring agent for other foods.
 
For instance, when I make knackwurst, mettwurst, and similar sausages, I'll give them a quick sear, then add a bottle of beer and let them poach. When heated through I remove them, and reduce the beer with a tablespoon (more or less) each of honey and mustard. Let it reduce to form a thick sauce, then return the sausages to it and let them steeep for a few minutes, turning to coat them with the sauce.
 
Just a variation on the theme, but a totally different taste profile than smearing the sausage directly with the mustard.
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One other thing. Because of their high acid contents, mustards are easy to preserve. Just fill canning jars with heated mustard, adjust the lids, and process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.
 
Y'all might want to keep that in mind if, like us, you give food gifts for holidays and special events. Jelly jars---because they're a bit fancier---are ideal for this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2013 at 09:23
Brook,
 
Your knackwürst or bratwürst sound lovely with a mustard smear employed in the sautéing process ...
 
I do not know if BUTIFARA ( from Catalonia ) is avaiable in the USA; www.foodsfromspain.com
however, I am going to merge a French an Catalan Fusion with Dijon Green peppercorn by Maille.  BUTIFARA is a big spicy but not piquant porc sausage  with an applellation, Catalonia.  They are scrumptuous.
 
Sounds like a great idea ... Do you use blonde or amber beer ?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2013 at 10:35
MUSTARD POTS ...

MOUTARDIERS or Mustard Pots, have been produced since Medieval times in Dijon, France, and are distinctly costumed for each and every household, each having its own crock, tiny ladle  and a daily ration of home fresh mustard to this day.



*** Mustard Pots from Maille - 1747

The basic shape of mustard canisters has remained virtually the same since the Medieval times, and two styles dominate.

The squat and round or the cylinder tall variety.

*** Mustard tap in bistro.



The moutardiers are frequently decorated with folk art of the region, medallions of honor, logos, and trademarks of one household´s favorite mustards.

The most common French Mustard Canisters are artisanally crafted by

Maille
Bornibus
Grey Poupon
Térméraire
Yvetot
Amora
Moustiers & Biot

This is a wonderful and traditional means of storing your homemade mustards.

Brook: almost like cazuelas or tiellas, the Mediterranean countries have Holders for all their common ingredients and cooking vessels. !



This is one of the ones on www.ebay.com

I checked www.amazon.com / www.frenchybee.com and www.igourmet.com and they only have the mustard with a glass jar and cork topping ... I looked quite quickly ....

Kind regards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2013 at 10:48
Wow! I wasn't familiar with moutardiers, Marge. I wouldn't turn my nose up at a row of them holding my various mustards, that's for sure. 
 
Are they readily available in shops? Or are they all custome made?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2013 at 10:58

Brook,

They are so lovely, and ready available ... Check in Macy´s Cellar, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma & Foods From France. Possibly www.amazon.com
 
I believe you can find a few at garage and yard sales too ! Also, is there a good French Restaurant in one of the major cities close to you ? They would definitely be able to assist.
 
I believe you can also check with brand manufacturer that has agreements with the French to produce the French Mustards exactly the same way they prepare in France.
 
You had mentioned Grey Poupon and they have Mustard shops and a museum in Dijon ... However, Grey Poupon also produces in the USA, and thus, they make the mustard pots ...
 
Let me know how the research goes. Hope this assists.
 
SEE: www.ebay.com ( run from $8 to $32 Usd ); I posted 1 of the photos for you, 1 or 2 replies above this one.
 
Marge.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2013 at 14:27
Re: the small jar in your lower picture. Grey Poupon used to come packed in those kinds of jars; mostly white and blue colors. But I haven't seen it that way in years, alas.
 
We had one for a long time, but it got broken in one of our many moves.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2013 at 09:51
Brook - Is there a commercially-available mustard that, in your opinion, comes close to any of the mustards that might be found in the Balkans or the former Yugoslavia?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2013 at 11:06
Not specifically, Ron.

At a guess, they'd probably resemble any of the German mustard types.

I've always been partial to Plochman's Premium Natural Stone Ground mustard, myself. Pretty close to the recipe I posted for Spicy German Mustard; slightly less full-bodied flavor, but rather nice for a commercial product.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 May 2013 at 11:08
I was guessing the same thing vis a vis the type of mustard; we've got a few avaialble and I'll see what I can come up with.
 
I don't have any brown/dark mustard seeds avaialble - only yellow; otherwise I might try making my own German mustard.
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