I’ve had an amazing time trying out home preserving this past year. Before 2012, I’d never canned, pickled, or extracted anything; now I’ve tried my hand at all of those things, and they’ve actually all turned out pretty successfully, save for one grape jelly I made that just tasted okay so I didn’t end up sharing it with y’all. So, after a year of honing these canned-good skills, I decided it was time to try my hand at something a little more tricky; the wonderful world of condiments. I’ve been kind of intimidated by mustard because of the intensity of its flavor, and how the ratio of vinegar to water to mustard seeds needs to be just right, otherwise the texture will be off or it won’t taste quite as mustardy as it should (or even too mustardy! But I really like mustard so to me that’s actually not even really a thing.)
So for the past couple weeks, I’ve been slowly brewing 4 different batches of mustard. Two of them I’m sharing with you today, and the other two I will share in another week or so. I used both brown and yellow mustard seeds, and recommend getting them from Mountain Rose Herbs like I did; they give you a lot of bang for your buck and the quality is exceptional. Both of these mustards are relatively coarse in texture, but can be made more smooth by continued blending. If you don’t like a nub of mustard seed in your mustards, add another 1/4 teaspoon water and 1/4 teaspoon vinegar and puree until your desired mustard texture is reached. Also, mustard seeds will continue to absorb any moisture around them for several weeks, so if your homemade mustard gets a little too thick after a fortnight, just stir in a dash of vinegar to thin it out a bit.
While the textures of these mustards are similar, the tastes are quite different (aside from, you know, the mustard part). The rosemary grapefruit mustard has a really fresh, clean and herbal taste to it, with a bit of a citrus bite. I’m looking forward to trying it on a fish sandwich, or watered down with some olive oil and using it as a marinade or rub for some tasty fish or chicken. The spicy Indian mustard was spicy indeed, but not eye-wateringly so. Although, if you like that sort of thing, you could definitely double the amount of crushed chilies to turn up the heat. It was just packed with concentrated Indian flavor, all the spices melded together to create a warm and lively palate. I can only imagine how delicious it would taste on a grilled chicken sandwich, or perhaps used as the base for a lamb marinade with some vegetable oil. Just talking about the possibilities is getting me suuuuper excited to utilize my new sandwich/marinade arsenal!
Note: Both of these recipes make 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of mustard.
In a 4-ounce canning jar, mix together the yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, vinegar, water, rosemary, grapefruit zest, and grapefruit juice. Cover and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 2 days.
Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor with the sugar and salt and blend until it has smoothed out a bit but is still relatively coarse in texture. Keep refrigerated, use within 2 months.
(1) 4 Oz. Canning Jar, sterilized
In a 4-ounce canning jar, mix together the vinegar, water, yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, curry powder, turmeric, crushed chilies, grated ginger, cardamom, and cumin. Cover and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 2 days.
Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor with the sugar and salt and blend until it turns into a coarse paste. Keep refrigerated, use within 2 months.