Let’s Try That Again…

Back in 2019 (maybe it was 2018), I found this recipe for Dijon mustard. I made a double batch because Mr. Food It Yourself is a mustard fanatic. It turned out very, very, badly. Instead of a pleasantly pungent paste, I created a condiment with potential to be weaponized. The mustardy flavor and scent were absolutely overpowering. We put it away for a year to see if it would mellow. It did not. We tossed it in the trash. I did not even try to salvage the jars, as I was afraid opening them would seriously disrupt the ecosystem of the Quinapoxet River Valley.

After some thought, I believe I discovered the source of this tragedy. This week, I decided to give Dijon mustard another try. Check out what happened:

I measured out the pepper corns, rosemary, salt, and garlic. As usual when canning, I chopped the onions last. Trust me, it is the best way to go. I used a decent-but-not-fancy Pino Grigio. If you look closely, you can see the bottle had a screw top. I let it simmer, as directed by the recipe. After straining out the solids, I added the whole mustard seeds and ground mustard.

This was the change from my prior attempt. I thought I could increase efficiency by simply putting some whole mustard seeds in my spice grinder. That, I believe, was the error in judgement that ruined my first batch. This time, I shelled out a few dollars for a tin of finely powdered mustard.

After a 24 hour rest, I was encouraged by the lack of mustard gas odor. I hit the mixture with a hand blender and trickled some water in to the bowl. I poured too quickly and thinned the mixture too much, so I had to simmer out the extra water while my jars heated up. It took about 15 minutes of boiling and stirring to reach what I suppose the Ball Canning Jar Company considers “the consistency of cooked oatmeal”.

I filled six, four-ounce jars and set them to process for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, Mr. Food It Yourself and I took tiny tastes of what was left. It was pungent, but in the way that a good mustard is, not in the way that brings out the HazMat team.

I am glad I tried making mustard again. I am very glad that it turned out well this time. What is a dish that took you a few tries to perfect? Share in the comments.