Mustard is one of the worlds oldest condiments, dating back to early Roman cooks, who combined ground mustard seeds with an unfermented grape juice. Mustard is still one of the most-used spices in the United States. All parts of the plant are edible, including seeds, leaves, and flowers allowing it to work well in a variety of ways with all types of meats, pork, poultry, and seafood. Most of us are used to standard yellow prepared mustard, but there are many wonderful varieties of seeds and prepared mustards to experiment with. Here is a simple guide to how to make your own mustard. It is easier than you think to create a homemade mustard blend perfect for your taste.
There are three types of mustard seeds White, that actually look yellow, brown and black. White mustard seeds are milder reaction than the zingier brown and black seeds. Standard American yellow mustard is made with white mustard seed and turmeric, brown mustard seeds are in most of your mid range mustards, and black mustard is used in hot mustards.
Here are some general guidelines to make and control the flavors of your homemade mustard blend.
- Cold or hot water makes a difference. What gives mustard its bite is a chemical inside the seeds reacting with cold liquid. You need to break the seeds to get at the fiery chemical. So the more finely ground the seed the more potent and spicy the flavor will be.
- For more mild mustard, soak the seeds in water overnight before grinding.
- Heat damages this reaction, so to make a hot mustard use cold water, and warm water or cook the mixture for a more mellow mustard.
- The water mustard seed reaction is volatile. Left alone, the mustard will lose its bite in a few days, or in some cases even hours. But adding an acid, typically vinegar sets the reaction in place.
- Adding salt improves the flavor and helps preserve the mustard, too.
Basic Homemade Mustard
Makes slightly over 1 cup
1/2 cup whole yellow mustard seeds (also called white mustard seeds) or ¼ cup yellow and ¼ cup brown mustard seeds
¼ cup water (more if you like a thinner mustard or plan to cook it)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar , or coconut vinegar
1-2 teaspoons salt
Optional seasonings, I like it will all of these but add and mix to suit your tastes. See Notes below for other variations and successful suggestions.
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1-2 teaspoons honey
Grind the mustard seeds for a few seconds in a spice, coffee grinder or by hand with a mortar and pestle. Remember the finer the seeds are ground the spicier it will be.
Pour the ground seeds into a bowl and add the water. Stir well and allow this sit for 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, vinegar, salt and seasonings and mix well.
Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge. It will thicken up slightly overnight. Wait at least 12 hours before using.
For a milder version slightly cook the mixture.
Prepare the mixture as directed above but cook it before storing it in a glass jar.
In a medium saucepan add all recipe ingredients as directed above plus an additional 3-5 tablespoons of water depending on how thick you want your mustard. You can always add more later if needed. Whisk everything until smooth.
Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring regularly.
Once mixture comes to a boil, simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Reduce the heat as necessary to avoid bubbling over. The longer you cook the mixture the thicker and milder it will become. Add more water if needed to reach desired consistency it will dry out as it continues to cook.
Remove from heat source and pour into a glass jar. Allow mustard to cool, cover with lid and store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
Mustard can be used right away; however the bitterness will dissipate with a little time and mustard flavor will get better. It’s best to make homemade mustard a few days before you plan on serving it.
Mustard is one of the more powerful anti-microbial plants. Once mixed with salt and vinegar, mustard is nearly invulnerable to deterioration. Mustard will very rarely go bad, although it can dry out.
- Change the liquid you could use water, beer, white wine or apple cider or apple juice.
- Change the vinegar I like apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar because they are less acidic but any type of vinegar can be used to make mustard. You could use also try white wine vinegar, traditional white vinegar or sherry vinegar.
- Grind the mustard seeds a lot or a little to you change the texture and spiciness.
- Use mustard powder in place of some of all of the seeds
- Add more honey or maple syrup for sweetness
- Add fresh minced herbs like dill, marjoram, or thyme
- Want spicier mustard, Add chilies, freshly grated horseradish or fresh minced garlic
What is your favorite flavor combination or condiment?
Want more like this? Check out Homemade Ketchup Here!