Chilebrown at home

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


School is back in session . I do not remember classes being so fun and tasty. Today’s lesson is on the art of mustard making. Vickie Miller of ‘Brown Dog Mustard Company’ taught a class on mustard making at the ‘Willow Pass Community Center’this last Sunday. I have made mustards in the past with great results but this old dog wants to learn some new tricks. Brown Dog Mustard makes a wonderful bacon flavored mustard that I hope to learn the secrets to re-create. With an open mind and a mustard craving palette we are going back to school.

This was a very small class with only five students. I could not sit in the back of the class like my childhood escapades. We received hands on, close and personnel instruction today. Our first task of the day was to hold a blind tasting of several mustards. This was no easy exercise. You think you know mustard but to blindly identify a brand or flavor style is not that easy. We were all over the map in our critiques. I was sure that heat was horseradish but when the identities of the mustards were revealed this student was humbled. The heat was only from the combination of acids and mustard seeds. The Grey Poupon was a class favorite. A brief history and facts about mustard's were discussed. We then proceeded to creating our own mustard.

The combinations of ingredients to create different flavored mustard is only limited to your imagination. There is a basic ratio of mustard seeds and some sort of acid (vinegar, wine and beer)and salt needs to be followed. There is a serious warning that needs to be heeded. Do not mix only water and mustard powder in a blender because it can form a mustard gas which may recreate a World War I trench experience. As long as you have added an acid or have cooked the mixture you will be fine. We had a multitude of ingredients to choose from. I tried my hand at four unique and different flavors.

The first two mustards, a craft beer was used. The first used only brown seeds, vinegar, beer and brown sugar. The second, yellow seeds, brown sugar, beer, vinegar, habanero peppers and garlic. You know I had to throw some peppers in sometime. I then attempted to recreate the very popular “Mendecino Brand’ style mustard. This was a combination of yellow and brown seeds with a lot of brown sugar and finally apple cider vinegar. Finally I made a mustard with balsamic vinegar and wine for flavorings.

These four recipes must rest for 4 to 48 hours. This will give the seeds time to rehydrate and absorb flavors. They will then be blended in a processor to the desired consistency. Using whole seeds will create a rustic texture. To achieve smoother mustard, powders need to be used. I am not sure I can wait forty eight hours to sample my creations.
   This workshop was a fun and informative classroom learning experience. Thanks to Vickie Miller for inspiring this Mad Meat Genius to create new and unique mustards. I did learn the secret to creating my own bacon mustard. You too can learn this and so much more by attending the “Make Your Own Mustard’ class.


Zoomie said...

Good for you. I'm glad you enjoyed it and that you didn't give away the bacon mustard secret.

Big Dude said...

Sounds like a great class and excellent warning. I've made my own a few times and really enjoyed the results - still have a bag each of yellow and brown seeds. Did you get any shareable formulas

Three Dogs BBQ said...

Did you use dried or fresh seeds? Looks great. I can't wait to see a review.

Chilebrown said...

Zoomie, Vickie Miller the instructor taught us numerous secrets to mustard making, bacon included.

Big Dude, The basic formula is 3/4 cups seeds or powder to 1 1/2 cups of liquid. The liquid should have an acid and you will need some salt and sweetner. I was surprised on how much sugar goes into the Mendecino style mustard.

Three Dogs BBQ, We used dried seeds. I have not heard of using fresh seeds or know where to get them. I thought they had to dry the plant to harvest the seeds. I would like to grow some mustard plants so this is something to look into.

Greg said...

I probably would have done much better in school if classes were like this. :)