I took a break from all sorts of apple recipes over the weekend to replenish Tai’s supply of my homemade mustard. We are down to one 4-oz jar of the last batch of cranberry habanero mustard, and the world knows no tragedy quite like the possibility of us running out of mustard, so a-mustard making I will go.
Mustard is surprisingly easy to make. Although you need to soak the mustard seeds for a few hours, once that is done the whole process takes about 15 minutes. It’s easy to adjust the spices, flavors and the graininess of the mustard to your liking, so that before you know it, store-bought mustard simply won’t do. The batch size is pretty small, so if you go through mustard like we do, it’s easy enough to toss the whole thing in a jar in the fridge, where it will keep for months (should it last that long). I like to can it to have on hand for mustard-loving friends. Tai likes to switch up the flavors so I try to have a few on hand in the pantry at a time.
Beer mustard is one of Tai’s favorites. I’ve made a version with Magic Hat No. 9, with Newcastle Brown Ale, and now with Sam Adams Winter Lager, which is a lightly spiced seasonal beer with hints of orange, cinnamon and ginger. Since I don’t like mustard at all, Tai has to do all the taste-testing when I make it for him (a big hardship I assure you). He tells me this has a nice, balanced flavor, with the taste of the lager present, but not overpowering the mustard flavor, and a subtle hint of orange & spice. Sounds divine, except for the mustard, of course. I think I’ll just stick to the beer – if only I could figure out how to slather it on a sandwich…
Adapted from Octoberfest Beer Mustard in The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, J. Kingry and L. Devine
Winter Lager Mustard
- one 12-oz bottle of Sam Adams Winter Lager (or other spiced winter beer)
- 1 cup brown mustard seeds
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup malt vinegar
- 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dry mustard
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne peper
- zest of one orange, or 1 to 2 drops of orange oil
- In a medium saucepan combine beer and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir, remove from heat, cover and allow to stand at room temperature until the seeds have absorbed most of the moisture, about 2 – 4 hours.
- If canning, prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Transfer seeds and remaining liquid to a food processor or blender and puree until blended and many seeds are well chopped. Retain a grainy texture according to your taste.
- Transfer the pureed seeds to a medium saucepan and whisk in water, malt vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, onion powder, black and cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until volume is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Stir in the orange zest. Allow to cook for another minute or two, then taste and adjust spices. Reduce further to a thicker texture, if desired, remembering that the mustard will thicken upon cooling.
- Ladle hot mustard into hot, sterilzed jars to 1/4-inch headspace, making sure to remove air bubbles, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Yields about 3 cups.
- Sam Adams Winter Lager contains hints of orange, cinnamon and ginger (or so it says on the label), hence those are the spices I added to the mustard to enhance the beer-spice flavor. If you use a different beer with a different spice profile, adjust accordingly.
- This recipe calls entirely for dark brown mustard seeds, which have a heartier flavor than yellow seeds. I had just about 3/4 cup of brown seeds in the pantry, so I added 1/4 cup of yellow seeds to this batch. Tai prefers the dark seeds, but if you like a milder mustard, consider using 1/2 cup yellow seeds and 1/2 cup brown seeds.
- The same basic recipe, minus the cinnamon, ginger and orange, can be used with any beer. Try it out with your favorite today!
- Mustard seeds and powder can be quite expensive when bought in small spice bottles at the supermarket. A more economical option is to search out spice specialty stores, like Penzeys, and buy about a pound at a time.
Canned, in a cool, dark spot for up to1 year. Refrigerated, use within 3 months.
This mustard can be made year round, but the Winter Lager is generally in the stores during the holiday season, from November to January.