Today’s special is mustard. I have some brown and yellow mustard seed (senfkorner to keep the Grimm theme alive) and some mustard powder (senfpulver) in the pantry, which combined with cold water, salt and vinegar make mustard.
Did you know Romans would grind mustard seed and mix it with wine into a paste similar to the mustard we slather on everything from sandwiches to hotdogs today? Me neither.
Did you know Pope John XXII was a mustard fiend who brought his hometown mustard-maker to the Vatican because he was homesick for his local purple mustard? Me neither.
Did you know Junipero Serra laced the entire countryside with black mustard seed to mark his trail as he explored California while establishing his Rosary of Missions, then followed a golden trail of blossoming mustard flowers back south to Mexico on the return trip? Nope, but thanks Father Mustard Seed, that’s a pretty great image.
Did you know you can make mustard in 10 minutes using 3 ingredients with a million variations and never have to purchase mass produced mustard again? Well I did, and here’s how.
Proletarian Mustard (not the Pope’s purple paste)
Prep time: 10-20 minutes + 24 hours for the mustard to cure
Ingredients (makes ~1 cup):
- 6 tbsp brown or yellow mustard seed
- 1/2 cup mustard powder (white or yellow)
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 cup of cold water or white wine
- 3 tbsp vinegar (any kind really I used cider)
Crush/grind/mortar+pestle the mustard seed but don’t powderize them. Then add the crushed mustard seed to the powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the cold water or white wine and let sit for 10 minutes. At this point there is a chemical reaction occurring between the mustard and the cold water, creating a crazy little antimicrobial solution. Add the vinegar to stop this reaction and act as a natural preservative. Put the paste into a sealable jar and let it sit for a day or two.
That’s it. You can get all fancy and add whatever you want to this basic recipe – honey, beer, herbs, horseradish, wasabi, etc. It should keep for a few months either on the counter or refrigerated. To make purple pope mustard, make a port and red wine reduction with shallots and tarragon (or other herbs) and add some proletarian mustard as the base.