Friday, September 21, 2012

Honey Mustard with Pale Ale

I've never been a huge condiment fan. I always felt like condiments masked the flavor of a dish. To me, it implied that the food wasn't good enough to be eaten alone, which seemed plain silly.  I often have debates with people about the merits of condiments. I'll end up feeling weird about my particularity, so I'll self-consciously throw some ketchup on a burger, regretting it on the first bite.  I think it's really just the store-bought generic condiments that I tend to dislike the most.  I find them to be boring and too vinegar-y.  

Okay, enough with my condiment roast. The good news is that I've slowly warmed to certain kinds.  Dave makes a great cultured ketchup recipe (which I hope to post eventually) that I'll gladly use for dipping fries.  And I love making herby aioli from mayonnaise. Still, I held on for a long time to this idea that mustard was repugnant. 

It wasn't until I ate at Saraveza, one of my favorite Portland restaurants, that I really fell for mustard. They make a habanero variety that is sweet, incredibly spicy, and so, so good.  It pairs perfectly with the rich, slow-cooked beef pasty that I always order (and have attempted to mimic at home). 

After my revelatory meal at Saraveza, I soon decided to try my hand at some homemade mustard. I opted out of making it with habanero peppers because I already had a spicy condiment on hand - an absolutely delicious habanero barbecue sauce made by the lovely Sarah Marshall. 

For this recipe, I was inspired by a honey mustard salad dressing I had eaten at the Fort George brewery in Astoria. The dressing had some IPA added for a little punch. Since I'm on a heavy Pale Ale kick, I thought I'd use it instead.  The result is a very sweet and mellow mustard with a slight hint of beer. It's a great introduction for the reluctant mustard eaters out there.

Mustard is easy to make, especially if you have an immersion blender. All you need to do is gather the seeds in a jar, soak them in vinegar for a day, and then blend the mixture with everything else until it's the right consistency. The hardest part is waiting for the mustard to ripen for a week on the counter. Not too bad, I'd say.

Honey Mustard with Pale Ale
makes about 16 ounces

In the photos, Dave and I had made a huge batch for holiday gifts. I think we tripled the recipe, which was quite easy to do.

Also, I like a coarse ground mustard, but you can certainly blend the mixture a bit more to make a smoother variety.

1/2 c yellow mustard seeds
1/4 c brown mustard seeds
1 c  apple cider vinegar
1/2 c pale ale
1 tsp salt
1/4 c honey

In a tall jar, mix seeds and vinegar.  Cover with a cloth or towel and secure with a rubber band.  Let sit overnight or up to 24 hours.  By the next day, most of the vinegar should have been soaked up by the seeds. Mix in the beer, salt, and honey.  

If you have an immersion blender, then pulse the mixture right in the jar until the desired consistency.  Otherwise, scoop into a blender or food processor and blend.  

Scoop the mustard into a jar, seal with a lid and let sit on the counter for a week, allowing to ripen. Then, store in the fridge for many months. 


  1. Moving back from PDX, I must say I also loved many of Saraveza's offerings. Thanks for sharing the mustard recipe!

  2. No problem! Thanks for checking out the blog!