MAKES: 11/2 cups

TIME: 15 minutes, plus a day or two to soak the seeds

If you’re a mustard enthusiast, you’ll be amazed by how easy and cheap it is to make your own and how good it is. You can customize the flavor in many ways with minor adjustments; see the list at right. The only rule you must follow is to mix yellow mustard seeds with brown or black; otherwise the results will be too harsh. And if you use red wine instead of water, expect the color to be a deep reddish brown.

1/4 cup (about 11/2 ounces) yellow mustard seeds

1/4 cup (about 11/2 ounces) brown or black mustard seeds

1/2 cup red wine or water

1/2 cup sherry or malt vinegar (or any vinegar with at least 5 percent acidity; see Types of Vinegar)

Pinch of salt

Put all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or another sealed glass or ceramic container. (Don’t use metal; it will corrode.) Shake or stir, then set aside to soak for a day or two.

Put the mixture in a blender and pure for several minutes to grind, adding a little extra water as needed to keep the machine running. Stop and scrape the sides down once or twice and repeat. You’ll never get the mustard as smooth as Dijon, but you can vary the coarseness by how long you let the blender run.

Return the mustard to the container and cover tightly. Store in a cool, dark place (or the refrigerator) for up to several months. The mustard will be quite sharp at first but will thicken and mellow with time.

Variations

Port Wine Mustard. Instead of the red wine or water, use 1/2 cup ruby or tawny port.

Brewhouse Mustard. Instead of the red wine or water, use 1/2 cup strong-flavored beer, like stout, porter, bock, or dark or amber ale.

14 Great Additions to Grainy Mustard

Stir any of the following into 1/2 cup mustard, keeping in mind that you’ll be able to keep the flavored mustard for only a week if you add fresh herbs, fruit, or vegetables.

  1. Mustard Relish: 1/2 cup minced sweet pickle and 1/4 cup each minced red onion and red bell pepper
  2. Tarragon Mustard: 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
  3. Rosemary Mustard: 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  4. Tomato Mustard: 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  5. Honey Mustard: 2 tablespoons honey
  6. Horseradish Mustard: 1 teaspoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish, or more to taste
  7. Molasses Mustard: 1 tablespoon molasses
  8. Balsamic Mustard: 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, to taste
  9. Creole Mustard: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
  10. Roasted Garlic Mustard: 2 to 3 cloves Roasted Garlic, smashed with a fork
  11. Chile Mustard: 1 teaspoon minced fresh chile (like jalapeo or Thai), or to taste, or hot red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste
  12. Peach Mustard: 1/4 cup fresh peach pure (1 medium peach, peeled, pitted, sliced, and mashed with a fork)
  13. Mango Mustard: 1/4 cup fresh mango pure (1/2 medium mango, peeled, pitted, cubed, and mashed with a fork)
  14. Nori Soy Mustard: 1 sheet toasted and crumbled nori, plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce