Saturday, March 29, 2014

Gloria's Homemade Sherry Mustard

how to make mustard
For some time now I've been reading about how easy it is to make mustard. I finally decided to give it a try, with the encouragement of mustard maven, fellow blogger & foodie friend,  Monica Cateron of Rockin' the Kitchen, and the guidance of a post titled "How to Make Mustard" by the popular food blogger and writer Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. The latter post is quite instructive on the nitty-gritty (pun intended) of mustard-making and what to expect from your efforts, and Monica's blog makes my mouth water and gets my creative juices flowing with her inspired recipes for specific kinds of flavored mustards. I recommend you check out both blogs for tips and recipes, and that you also give my recipe a try.

When freshly made, homemade mustard will taste extremely -- some would say excruciatingly -- sharp or hot, much like powerful wasabi or Chinese mustard. Rest assured, your mustard will lose its bitter bite within 24 hours, and continue to mellow as it ages or cures over time. It also will taste much less sharp with food, as it is meant to be used -- it's a condiment, after all -- rather than straight from the jar. Some people recommend letting the mustard age or cure at room temperature, explaining that it will not spoil and in fact will lose its piercing bite much more quickly at room temperature than if refrigerated. Being particularly paranoid about food safety, however, I have kept my homemade mustard in the refrigerator from day one. After several weeks, a taste from the jar still packs a powerful, sinus-clearing punch that's almost too intense for me but is just right for Greg. The good news is that when spread on a sandwich or enjoyed with bratwurst or other sausage, my sherry mustard delivers a surprisingly smooth, remarkably complex and nuanced flavor with hints of subtle sweetness from the sherry and earthy pungency from the mustard seed.

The following is my very first homemade mustard recipe. It is indeed extremely simple to make, and I look forward to trying my hand at making beer mustard, honey mustard, hot pepper mustard and other varieties of homemade mustard.

One final note: When compared to other mustard recipes by other bloggers including the two mentioned above, my recipe uses much more powdered mustard than whole mustard seeds. This is because I had a ridiculous amount of bulk powdered mustard in my pantry (don't ask, it's a long story), and not very much mustard seed, and I made this recipe right before we moved, when I was trying to use up as many spices, condiments etc. as possible so as to have less to pack.

Verjus du Perigord-25.35 oz.3 Tbs whole yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup ground mustard aka mustard powder
1/2 cup verjus*
1/3 cup dry sherry (something drinkable, not "cooking sherry")
1/4 cup water
1 to 2 tsp Kosher or sea salt

*Verjus is the unfermented pressed juice of green grapes, with less acidity than vinegar and a mellower, more food-and-wine-friendly flavor. If you cannot find verjus in a local specialty foods store, you can buy verjus online from one of our Partners by clicking on the picture on the right. You probably could substitute white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar for the verjus in my recipe, but I suggest using only 1/3 cup of the vinegar, and possibly increasing the water slightly if the mustard is too thick. If you try this, please comment below to let me know how your mustard turns out.

homemade mustard
Coarsely grind the mustard seeds in a spice grinder or using my favorite method, a mortar and pestle. Transfer into a pint jar (e.g., a Mason jar or other canning jar) and add the mustard powder, then cover with lid and shake to mix together. Pour in the sherry and water, close the lid tightly and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. If the mixture becomes too thick or clumpy, use a small whisk or a fork to stir. When well combined, let sit for 10 minutes, then add the salt (start with the lesser amount) and verjus, cover tightly with lid and shake vigorously, also whisking if necessary to combine thoroughly. Taste for saltiness, keeping in mind that your mustard will seem very sharp, and add more salt if desired -- I find that 1 1/2 tsp salt is enough. Cover with lid and let the mustard sit at least overnight before use. This mustard will keep pretty much indefinitely in your refrigerator, and possibly also in the pantry according to some sources.

Zestfully yours,

PS: No time or inclination to make your own mustard? No worries, the Carolina Sauces online store is where you'll find the perfect mustard for your taste preferences, whether you prefer sweet and zesty or fiery-hot and savory, or something completely different.

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