Guest Post: Homemade Mustard
There are few dishes I find as comforting as fried chicken tenders and honey mustard. It’s a simple dish, quick to prepare and you really can’t mess it up. Fixing a proper batch of chicken fingers isn’t the most interesting thing to do though, so I’ve decided to change things up a bit… Namely, no more chicken tenders. I’m going to focus a little more on the mustards here. I’ll be preparing four small batches of mustard and to go with the mustard we’ll be frying up a plateful of dill pickle slices and putting together a couple of turkey sandwiches. Nothing too extravagant, just nice pairings for the mustard.
There are a lot of mustard recipes out there and they’re all pretty different. Understandably there is a wide range of flavor combinations ranging from spicy raspberry to champagne infused sparkling mustard. Not only that but some call for cooking your mustard on a stove top, others say you should let it sit in the fridge over night. Through a fair bit of trial and error I’ll share a couple of tips that I’ve come across as I’ve been making my own blends of mustards in the kitchen.
First off, don’t go trying to make a croc pot full of this stuff until you really find a good blend. Realistically, you probably aren’t going to be using more than 10 or 12 ounces within a month unless you’re a mustard fanatic. And besides, the homemade stuff really only keeps about a month.
So here’s what you’ll need to get started:
I rounded up five 1/2 oz containers of ground mustard, 1/2 oz of turmeric, a bag of flour and sugar, two bottles of vinegar – one is apple cider vinegar and the other is plain distilled vinegar, and a large honey bear. I also picked up a small container of mustard seeds and a Hefeweizen wheat beer.
My preferred method of preparing mustard is to use a small food processor to mix everything up in a timely manner and then I let the mustard sit for about an hour in the fridge to let all of the ingredients mingle a bit. I’m impatient so I haven’t tried cooking my mustards, I’m pretty happy with the outcome and I figure if it tastes good, don’t fix it.
1) Start off with dry ingredients by putting a whole container of ground mustard (just about one tablespoon) into the food processor with an equal amount of flour and 1 tablespoon sugar.
2) Add a generous squeeze of honey, about 1/3 cup.
3) Add equal parts (flat) beer and cider vinegar to the mix, about 2-2.5 ounces. Mix!
4) Keep mixing until you see a consistent color and texture.
5) Take a taste and add more sugar or honey if that tail end of the mustard’s kick is too much for you. You can always add flour but if you end up with a mix of more than 60/40 flour to mustard powder you can start to taste the flour.
The steps for preparing the next three batches will be exactly the same only the ingredients will be a bit different. The Balsamic and Primitivo mustard is really the only mustard that really needed to sit overnight to properly thicken up, all the others were good to go within an hour.
The first batch of mustard I put together was a honey Hefeweizen mustard. Essentially it’s a tangy honey mustard with a wheat beer kick and a little extra heat. I start off with my dry ingredients, putting a whole container of ground mustard (just about one tablespoon) into the food processor with an equal amount of flour and two teaspoons of sugar. Next I add a generous squeeze of honey, about 1/3 cup.
Now for the beer. It’s really best to use flat beer if you’re going to be using a mixer or food processor like me, otherwise just be prepared to wait a few minutes for the head to die down after pouring… I add equal parts beer and cider vinegar to the mix, about 2-2.5 ounces. After that you can start mixing away. This recipe will give you a light tan, slightly yellow mustard that is going to be quite runny at first. Keep mixing until you see a consistent color and texture.
Take a taste and add more sugar or honey if that tail end of the mustard’s kick is too much for you. You can always add flour but if you end up with a mix of more than 60/40 flour to mustard powder you can start to taste the flour.
When you’re satisfied with the taste of the mustard just pour it in a bowl and throw it in the fridge for about an hour. This will allow the mustard to thicken up a little and the flavors will settle down a bit. After you pull the bowl out of the fridge you’ll notice the mustard will still be a little thinner than the store bought stuff, this is my personal taste – I think this works better for dipping and pouring. If you’d prefer a thicker mustard you can cut back on the beer and cider vinegar a bit. I happen to like the purportions right where they are, the beer gives the sweet mustard a little bit of bite and the cider vinegar delivers a kick right at the end.
If you like thicker, spicier or even sweeter mustards then I’ve got you covered there as well. The steps for preparing the next three batches will be exactly the same only the ingredients will be a bit different. The Balsamic and Primitivo mustard is really the only mustard that really needed to sit overnight to properly thicken up, all the others were good to go within an hour. Here’s what you need for each additional mustard batch:
The spicy mustard recipe will leave you with a very thick, very spicy, very yellow mustard that will go well with a burger and fries. The second recipe will give you a much more mellow, sweet honey mustard that is perfect for dipping without the heat or the kick of the Hefeweizen. The final recipe will need to sit over night for the flavors to blend and for the consistency to thicken up, don’t be alarmed if it’s really runny at first. The Balsamic and Primitivo mustard wouldn’t go too well with fried pickles so we put it on turkey sandwiches the next day.
The mustard ended up being a purple-maroon color, it went well with some turkey from the deli, lettuce, onions and a little mayo on whole grain bread. The flavor of the wine and Balsamic vinegar play nicely off of each other and really class up a turkey sandwich.
Prep time for each batch of mustard was about 10 minutes. It can be a little messy with all the ground mustard and flour moving around but by the time you’re done cleaning up and you’ve fixed something to dip in your mustard, it should be properly chilled.
Note from Nick: I found this all to be amazing. I’ve made homemade ketchup before, but it’s ridiculous I’ve never tried this given that mustard is my favorite. Once I get back state-side I’ll be experimenting with some of these. Thanks Corey!