Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stout and Spicy Brown Mustard

You know all know we hate to waste ingredients in our house, so when we opened a can of Guinness stout for our holiday pub cheese recipe and only used a quarter of the can, we looked for another use (because 9:00am seemed a bit early to just drink the remainder.)

We are big fans of mustard, but are somewhat picky about the flavor. As a point of reference, Dom recently tossed a bottle of Creole mustard because it was “just hot with no depth.” So, like many (or perhaps I should say most) of the condiments we use are homemade to suit our taste. Why should mustard be any different? An added bonus is the cost savings. Not sure if you have been shopping for a coarse, German-style mustard lately, but yowza, it’s expensive.

We found (inexpensive) brown and yellow mustard seeds at an ethnic market. Mustard seeds are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. Mustard seeds have been mentioned in a variety of religious parables throughout history. The 1-2 mm seeds may be colored from stark black to pale yellow and are a rich source of protein and oil. Interestingly, mustard seed production exceeds the demand for cooking oil in South Asia, so the surplus mustard oil is being used experimentally as an alternative to diesel fuel. The leftover pressed meal has been found to be a very effective pesticide ensuring that nothing goes to waste.

This homemade version has a nutty, vaguely sweet flavor and a nice mouth feel. It is surprisingly easy to make and it was fascinating to watch the seeds expand as they absorbed the liquid.

  • 1 cup Stout
  • 3/4 cup brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • Pinch ground allspice

Combine ingredients in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 2 days to allow flavors to meld and seeds to soften.

Pour contents into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until seeds are coarsely ground and the mixture thickens, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.

This step requires patience. The mixture will look loose and you will wonder if you made a mistake along the way, but continue to let the mustard mixture puree until emulsified. The mustard should be set after about 3 minutes of blitzing.

Transfer the mustard to a jar (or jars) with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for 24 hours again to let flavors completely develop and the mustard to fully thicken. The mustard should keep up to 6 months in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long.


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