Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mustard & Ketchup

We planted a bunch of mustard seed this Spring...not as quite much as in the picture but it was still a lot. After devouring the mustard greens, we let the plants go to seed, dried them out, and then my task was to thrash the dry mustard and harvest the seed.

That was no small assignment.

Over the course of a several weeks (there was a lot and it's a pain) I stripped the dried pods from the plants (I eventually got smart and used gloves after several pods impaled my hand), thrashed the pods to release the seeds (a pillowcase and rolling pin were handy), then did my best to separate the chaff from the seeds (blowing or a light breeze works well but it's a tricky step without blowing the seeds away).

Finally, there were no more pods and I had about 1/3 of a cup of black mustard seeds -- and a tiny bit of chaff. I was ready to make moutard.

There are a ton of homemade mustard recipes on the net but I decided to go with one by David Lebovitz figuring that since his ice cream recipes are good his mustard is probably tasty too.  The mustard seeds get combined with white wine, Champagne vinegar, turmeric, salt, a pinch of cayenne, and a little maple syrup...sounds strange but that's what the recipe called for and I happened to have a yummy bottle of bourbon maple syrup that a guy about a mile away produces.  The mixture sits for two days to soften the seeds and combine the flavors and then off to the blender.

Immediately after it's blended it tastes awful, very bitter almost astringent. But let it cure in the fridge for a minimum of 2-3 days and that flavor vanishes.

It's a lot of work to grow, harvest, thrash, collect, and clean mustard seeds to make a cup or so of mustard. At one point I was sure I'd never do it again but now I'm less certain. 

The final product... delish! Possibly the most flavorful mustard I've had. 

Because I used black mustard seeds it has the strength of a Dijon but also the depth of flavor of a good whole grain. I just might add a touch of bourbon to it though.

My wife also made a yummy curry ketchup from our garden tomatoes. That stuff it crazy good too. 

Update: After several days, in order to thin it out a bit and cut the heat I added 3-4 tbsp of bourbon, 2 tbsp, and 1 tbsp of honey. 

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