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Colonel Mustard, in the kitchen December 3, 2008

Posted by Peeps in Cooking, Food, Home, random stuff, Rochester.
Tags: , ,

I love mustard. Real mustard. The good stuff. French, German, English, Polish. I don’t care. As long as it’s not the yellow stuff. That’s boring.

It wasn’t until I’d lived up here for a while that I found out something important. French’s, your basic American mustard used to be made right here in Rochester.

Just for the record, it is not possible to get decent mustard at any place other than a supermarket anywhere near here. It’s a little sad.

Once again, mom turned me on to the real deal. We had different ones for different applications. I think, and I could be wrong, that we had at one point nine different kinds of mustard in the house. None of them were yellow and all of them were wonderful in their own way.

About a year ago, Toys and I decided to try making out own. Now, please understand, she’s from the Mid-West. She likes the yellow stuff. and actually keeps it in the house. (shrugs) Hey, live and let live. But she certainly understands the culinary value of Dijon.

Dijon mustard is one of the greatest ingredients there is. Say what you’d like about France, but they understand food.

Okay, we started with a recipe that Toys found on About.com. Apparently, it’s one of Sara Moulton’s recipes. I will always trust her judgment.

Let’s start a batch. First thing is combining mustard powder and water and setting it aside.
As far as I can tell, the only thing this does is let the mustard powder hydrate. Which is not a bad thing.

In a saucepan, reduce white wine, vinegar, shallots, garlic and aromatics like juniper berries and peppercorns by two thirds.
This is the point where you have to be careful. Inhaling hot vinegar can be somewhat painful. Seriously. Once the liquid is almost gone, strain out the solids and chill the remaining liquid.

Once the liquid is completely cool, add it to the mustard and water mixture. This needs to sit for at least twenty minutes. Apparently, the longer it sits, the stronger the flavor is. Good deal.

The mustard mixture now goes back into a pan and cooks for about fifteen minutes.

The following is something you do at your own risk. I do not want to be sued. It says to seal the mustard in a jar. We do it the old fashioned way. The hot mustard goes into a clean canning jar, a lid and a ring go on and it gets turned upside down. This is the way that countless generations of grandmothers did it before your benevolent government decided that this is not entirely safe. I’m sorry, but anything that can live in a reduced vinegar solution can probably climb out of the jar, walk up the stairs and kill me while I’m sleeping. No matter how well I’m armed. Really.

The sad part of this operation is that the sealed jar needs to sit in a cool, dark place. For a month. Dude. Oh well. I plan on trying whole grain mustard before January rolls around. Just to make sure we don’t run out, you know.



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