Porter Beer Mustard
Mustard is one of the world’s oldest condiments; it’s been ground into paste with water, or wine, for thousands of years. Mustard mixed with beer emerged on the food scene hundreds of years ago, though the history is a little murky. Food historians agree that beer mustard, the condiment as we know it, came about some time in the 20th century in the American Midwest, though it developed out of German culinary tradition—perhaps not a “recipe”, per se, but more the knowledge of what to do with beer and mustard in a kitchen. We created a recipe here that’s super-simple to make, though it does require two days to brine the mustard seeds in beer and vinegar before it’s ready to eat.
Because beer is used to steep the mustard seeds and takes the place of vinegar, the brine is less acidic than one used for a standard mustard. This leads to a spicier finished product, since acids temper the chemical reaction in a cracked mustard seed that creates heat. The beer you choose also adds its own character to the mustard, so go for something with great flavor. We used the Portahhh from our friends at Three Beards Brewing; this porter’s dark, malty base and notes of chocolate and toffee add depth and rounded flavors to the sharp pinch of mustard’s heat. A stout would bring a lot of the same characteristics to the finished product, while an IPA will bring a bold, hops-forward nose. We don’t recommend beers that are light, or basic American pilsner-style.
Once all the ingredients are finally soaked and boiled and cooled accordingly, put everything in a blender or food processor. Once you start blending, sit back and let it blend. You need to let the seeds emulsify in the liquid, and it’s going to take a while--longer than you might think--to go from a watery mix with seeds, to the thick, grainy consistency that we’re after. This will make about two cups of mustard which should last for a very long time, since there’s not a lot in the mustard that will go bad. You can use this anywhere you want a spicy mustard. It’s great as a dip for crackers or vegetables, or smeared on a bit of toast with a gorgeous slice of creamy Havarti cheese. We thought it was a natural on New York Style Hot Dogs, with the spicy bite of mustard playing off the snap of sauerkraut and some rich, seasoned onions.
1. Combine Yellow and Black Mustard Seeds with ½ cup of porter and the apple cider vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 48 hours.
2. After 48 hours, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of porter with the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and let cool.
3. Add the mustard seeds (with their beer and vinegar brine) and cooled spice/beer mixture to a blender and process until thickened.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes, plus two days for brining