Monday, March 8, 2010

A condiment for what ales you

condiment ˌkɒndɪm(ə)nt
a substance such as salt or ketchup that is used to add flavor to food.
ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin condimentum, from condire ‘to pickle.’

I really, really, really like condiments. Once, I read a blog post by dee Hobsbawn-Smith and she wrote that her fridge was full of homemade condiments. That was a couple of years ago, and at the time I couldn't really picture what kind of condiments she could possibly have in there. What condiments can you actually reproduce at home?
Beer, vinegar, mustard and seasonings marinating in a 1L jar.

As you may have guessed, I've been enlightened in the last year or so. In fact, my own fridge is home to a fair collection of homemade sauces and toppings: mixed pepper relish, hot pepper jelly, ketchup, pickled peppers, honey-lemon marmalade, blueberry jam, and, most recently, a delicious grainy mustard.
Before blending.
After blending.

This mustard has a bit of heat, a dash of texture and a wallop of flavour. Now, it's your turn to make it.

A Spicy Mustard for what Ales you
Adapted lovingly from pictures and pancakes
yields 3 1/2 cups

1 341 ml oz bottle McNally’s Extra Ale (or Guinness, or any other dark, flavourful beer. Don't use Bud Light Lime)
10 oz (300 gr) brown mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamo
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp turmeric (for colour, skip if desired)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive mixing bowl (i.e. not aluminum) or a 1-litre jar. Cover with plastic wrap, or a lid, and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 days.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and purée, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Process until most of the seeds are coarsley ground and the mixture thickens.
  4. Transfer to jars and refrigerate up to six months. 
  5. You may find the mustard slightly bitter at first. I liked mine more after it had mellowed out in the fridge for a week or so. Of course, results will vary based on your beer of choice.

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