My new Thing is this: I make mustard. Alright, so I’ve only done it twice, but it’s *going* to be my new Thing. The first one I made was this, a hot English-style smoked garlic and basil mustard. It certainly clears the sinuses, and it’s a treat on top of a barbecued burger with a dollop of home made ketchup, I can tell you.
I left it quite late in the day to make this mustard – I was taking it to a barbecue and had planned to make it a couple of days ahead, but life conspired to throw lots of interesting things at me during the week. Thus it was that Saturday morning dawned bright and clear and found me in the kitchen at 9.30am making mustard in my pyjamas. That’s a funny place to make mustard. Ahahaha… Aha… Ahem.
I went looking for a quick and easy mustard recipe, and soon found this one from Alton Brown, which promised to be the Best Mustard Ever. With a title like that, I thought I’d be foolish not to give it a go. I knew I wanted to add some smoked garlic and basil to the basic mustard recipe, and I altered a couple of the other ingredients too, as well as reducing the amounts. My amended recipe looks like this:
- 1 tbsp English mustard powder
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- a big pinch of smoked sea salt
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 2 cloves smoked garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup vinegar from a jar of gherkins
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 1/4 cup mustard seed
- handful of basil leaves
Mix all the dry ingredients except the mustard seeds together in a bowl or, even better, a jug. This bowl (or jug) will have to be big enough to comfortably hold all of the ingredients later, with room to process them with a stick blender. We do not want mustard getting everywhere, least of all in our eyes. Ouch.
Put the garlic and wet ingredients together in another bowl. Measure your mustard seeds and put them into a spice grinder or food processor. Take a deep breath and steady your hands, because we are going to go quite fast for this next bit and we are definitely not going to have time to take photos. Ready?
Grind the mustard seeds to a fine powder. OK, maybe we have time for just one picture:
I really love my new spice grinder.
Now, quickly whisk the ground mustard into the other dry ingredients, then whisk the wet ingredients in, too. Put the bowl/jug in the microwave and heat on full power for one minute. Remove from the microwave and puree with a stick blender for one minute. It’s amazing how much the mustard thickens as you blend it.
Add the basil and puree further until the leaves are finely chopped and evenly distributed.
Allow the mustard to cool at room temperature – it will thicken further as it does.
Store in an airtight container – the recipe says for up to a month but I feel like it’ll probably keep longer than that. These amounts make a small batch, which may or may not amount to more mustard than a man could consume in a month, so you might not have to face the question of how long it lasts, anyway.