Home-made wholegrain mustard…

Re-written March 6, 2014. Typos and other errors corrected. And given how many there were, I must have written it on a really bad day.

A few years ago I had an urge to make my own mustard. Not Colman’s finest – any fool can do that – but decent, well-flavoured (as in not simply hot!), wholegrain mustard. So I did.

I gave most of it away, as I’m not that fond of mustard, but I do like learning new techniques, and now I can make mustard. Next please!

If anyone’s interested, this is my recipe. It needs, for those like me, to whom it matters greatly, almost no effort to make.

Normal wholegrain mustard is basically mustard seed, some lightly crushed, in a base of normal mustard, which has always struck me as a tad pointless. And I find the whole seeds annoying.

This is somewhat different, as the seeds are blitzed in a blender (though a blade coffee mill would probably be better), until most, if not all, are broken. I wanted it the texture of a coarse, wholemeal flour, with a relatively small proportion of whole seeds.

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Wholegrain mustard

100g yellow mustard seed, crushed

50g brown mustard seed, crushed

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon honey (if you don’t like honey, use golden syrup (the stuff in a tin, not the squeezy bottle which has about 10% added water)

Equal parts Copella English apple juice (unfiltered), and Aspall Organic Cyder Vinegar to mix

Note: All utensils should be non-metallic (plastic, silicone, wood). The contact with the mustard will be pretty brief, but best not to risk any off-flavours

I tried blitzing the seeds a few at a time, but that didn’t work too well, as they just bounced around the blender goblet. Tossing them all in at once, the blades create a whirlpool effect, seeds being drawn down into the centre and chopped seeds ejected around the perimeter – run until you have the desired texture.

A warning – if the centre cap of the lid is vented, to prevent the steam pressure from hot liquids blowing it out it out (as it might not be if you have an old blender), seeds will make a bid for freedom. I removed the centre cap and put my hand over the hole. This is more of a problem with just a small amount of seeds. Once processed, tip the seeds into a glass or similar non-metallic basin, and mix in the salt and pepper.

I started with 50ml each of juice and vinegar, into which I dissolved the honey, and mixed it into the processed, seasoned, seeds, then continued to add equal amounts of each until the desired consistency was reached (this is easiest if you combine the liquids – there might be a little waste, but what the hell?).

One you’ve attained the consistency you want – if you use this type of mustard, you’re probably familiar with how it should be, if not, note that there should be no free liquid, but the mix should be slightly loose – a spreadable consistency, if you like.

Once you’ve done that,  scrape down the sides of the basin and smooth out the mustard, then cover tightly with clingfilm and store at room temperature for a week. In my flat, that would mean storing it at around 30C (yep, seriously – my flat faces due south and gets the sun nearly all day at this time of year), which would be a bad idea, so I’ve put it in the bedroom, which is kept cool by having reflective Mylar film on the window (in both the living room and bedroom, one wall is almost entirely window – it’s lunacy and, being on the ground floor, like living in a goldfish bowl).

Note: It thickens up while it’s maturing – quite quickly, too – so before transferring it to jars, adjust using the same proportions of juice and vinegar as before.

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