Mustard earned its name thanks to the process used by the ancient Romans to produce the condiment, notes food science writer Harold McGee in his book "On Food and Cooking." The Romans soaked mustard seeds in wine, or "mustam." The process of making mustard is the same today. Using brown mustard seeds instead of white or yellow will give you a mustard with more pungency and zing. You can customize brown mustard by adding different flavorings or sweeteners.
Things You'll Need
- Brown mustard seeds
- Vinegar (optional)
- Mixing bowl
- Wine or beer (optional)
- Plastic wrap
- Food processor or spice grinder
- Honey or other sweetener
- Herbs and spices
- Glass jars with tight fitting lids
Combine the brown mustard seeds and vinegar or water in a large mixing bowl. You can use equal parts mustard seed and liquid or use slightly more liquid to make a sharper mustard. To make a sweeter mustard, add a bit of beer or wine to the mixture.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the seeds to soak in the liquid for up to 36 hours. How long to soak depends on how old the seeds are. Older seeds are drier and will need a longer soaking before you can grind them.
Grind the mustard seeds and liquid in a food processor or spice grinder until a paste forms. You can grind it until it is smooth or leave a few whole seeds or parts of seeds in the mixture.
Add seasonings and sweetener to the mustard to your taste. You can make a honey brown mustard by adding a few spoonfuls of honey, for example. You can also use molasses or brown sugar to sweeten the mustard. Spices to add include curry powder for an Indian-style mustard or cayenne pepper for a spicy condiment.
Pour the mustard into glass jars with tight fitting lids, such as mason jars. Put the lids on the jars and put them in a dark place, such as a kitchen cabinet. Let the mustard sit for at least a few days before tasting it. Once the mustard has a flavor you like, store it in the refrigerator.
Tips & Warnings
- In an interview with "The Splendid Table," Noelle Carter, food writer for the "Los Angeles Times," noted that using water as the soaking liquid makes a mustard with the cleanest flavor. Water also makes the hottest, most pungent mustard.
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