Homemade Mustard – Condiment Making 101

Homemade Grainy MustardMustard. Chicago’s favored hot dog condiment and one which comes in many forms. There’s spicy, sweet, honey, stone ground, Dijon, country-style, Chinese, German, sharp and tangy…I could go on and on. If you take a look at the ingredients you’ll find, no matter which is your favorite, mustards are pretty much all made with the same stuff and there’s also not much in the way of preservatives. If there are minimal ingredients, then it should be pretty easy to make some at home right? This week I put that theory to the test.

The idea for making some homemade mustard popped into my head while preparing Sunday dinner this past week. We had corned beef and I found myself wishing I had the mustard this Irish restaurant down the street serves with theirs. It’s some sort of brown sugar mustard but all we had in the house was Dijon. I know, I know, the horror. Anyway, quick research on the internet revealed mustard can be whipped up in about a day and since we were going to have leftovers I figured I’d give it a go. At the very least I’d end up with a good amount of mustard to use for my mustard crusted leg of lamb at Easter in a few weeks (ahem…with a port wine mint sauce too).

As guessed, it is pretty easy to make homemade mustard. And pretty inexpensive too. For this particular amount (about 1 cup) the cost was approx $2.50.  Less than a jar of Grey Poupon. Most of the recipes I ran across recommended combining the mustard seeds with vinegar and water or wine and refrigerating overnight. The next day, simply grind everything up and there you have it: homemade mustard. Freshly ground, your mustard is going to run a bit ‘hot’ and maybe a little bitter but another overnight in the fridge will mellow it. It’s definitely got some zip to it! I think this is a really good basic mustard which can be a canvas for just about any type of mustard you want to make, like a nice spicy honey mustard. If you want creamier mustard, cut back on the seeds and used mustard powder instead.

Oh and one more thing…the corned beef sandwiches have been delicious.

Homemade Mustard (yield: about 1 Cup)

  • 4 Tbs yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbs brown mustard seeds (careful, the darker the seed the spicier it is)
  • ⅓ C apple cider vinegar (any vinegar will do, use your favorite)
  • ⅓ C white wine or water
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

In a medium-sized non-reactive mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 1 day (you can go 2).

Remove bowl from refrigerator and blend in a food processor or blender until thickened to desired consistency. Or if you want more grainy ‘country style’ mustard use a mortar and pestle (like I did) if you have one.

If the mustard has too much zip to it, or is too thick, stir in a few Tbs of water and let it mellow. If it doesn’t have enough zip stir in some horseradish until you get the heat you want. Experiment here!

Store in a container in the fridge. Should last for months.

Side Roam: Of course since mustard has so few ingredients the quality of your mustard seeds is important. This is one recipe which screams out for a trip to your local spice shop if you have one. Luckily for us there’s one just up the road in Lincoln Square, Savory Spice Shop. It is definitely to your benefit if you can search one out.



    1. Not at all! It has a nice initial bite which gives way to a good mustard flavor. Nice texture too.

  1. chef mimi says:

    I love that you left the mustard seeds in the mustard. So pretty! Last summer I made a peach mustard for the blog. Outstanding. It’s so much fun to play with condiments, isn’t it?!!!

    1. It is! I really like grainy style mustard so figured I’d leave some in. Peach mustard sounds delicious and I’m sure you used fresh peaches!

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