My earliest mustard attempts were always foiled by a bitterness that was hard to get rid of. Since then, I've been learning the balance and time needed to make great mustards, which are often so easy to put together and have a much better flavor than bottled, that I'm turning more and more to homemade. This whole grain Dijon is a great example.
It starts with a 50/50 combo of yellow and brown mustard seeds—yellow are more mild, while the brown yield a sharper flavor—that are soaked in a mixture of a dry white wine (a defining characteristic of Dijon mustard) and vinegar. As the seeds swell in the liquid, their pungent qualities start to dissipate, helping ensure a smoother mustard flavor as opposed to the intense heat that happens when simply mixing mustard powder with water.
After two days, the mustard is ready to be given a whirl in the blender—where I like to add just a little brown sugar to temper the heat even further—until a paste starts to form, but plenty of whole seeds remain to create a great texture.
In a final step, the mustard rests for another couple days in fridge, which mellows the bitterness that can plague homemade mustards right after they're ground together.
With the right balance of ingredients, some time, and very little effort, I was rewarded with a whole grain Dijon that had the exact mild bite and tang, paired with a bright mustard flavor that I find easily goes with so much—my favorite being a crusty baguette with charcuterie and cheese, where the texture and flavor of the mustard gets to shine against the simple and delicious pairings.
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About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.