Skip to content

homemade mustard

A few years ago, The Art of Living According to Joe Beef – which calls itself “A Cookbook of Sorts” – landed in my kitchen. I wasn’t sure what to make of the book. It had a four-letter word in the beginning of the introduction, courtesy of a New York chef known for swearing. There was a chapter on Canadian trains. And as interesting as they sounded, I wasn’t sure I would ever make Filet de Cheval à Cheval (pan-fried horse steaks with a sunny-side up egg saddled-up on top), Pork Fish Sticks (yum), or Chicken Skin Jus (sauce made of…yes, chicken skin – ok, I’m in on that one.)

Cornflake Eel Nuggets (the story is pretty funny in the book), well, I’d give them a try at the restaurant because I’m not especially anxious to clean my own eel at home, there’s a Foie Gras Breakfast Sandwich that tempts (maybe not for breakfast, but I could imagine that for lunch), and I am not sure I would build my own metal Marjolaine cake mold (there are dimensions in the book) – although the multilayered cake made inside of it looks absolutely great.

(However I wish they hadn’t included pictures of their homemade cake pan for making the cake in, because I haven’t been able to stop thinking about tackling that welding project ever since I read about it. Darn you, Joe Beef!)

mustard seeds homemade

But the book really struck me as something special and I called it my favorite book of the year because I liked the voice of the owners, their quirky stories, and the fact that it just goes against a whole bunch of stuff – different than some of the self-conscious, “bro-food” kinds of schtick. It just felt genuine and honest, qualities which came right through the pages to me. It’s the story of building a restaurant in the middle of nowhere, planting a garden in a former crack house, and includes a whole bunch of wacky cocktails, including a do-it-yourself recipe for Absinthe.

homemade mustard recipe mustard

It really is, indeed, a cookbook “of sorts” and it’s a book that I like on so many levels. The folks at Joe Beef celebrate eating with gusto without all the boasting and chest-beating. And most of all, it makes me want to get back on a plane to Montreal where I once went and almost every morning, I’d say to someone – “I had the best meal of my life last night.”

mustard seeds

One point they brought up in the book is that in Canada (and elsewhere), the “Dijon” mustard imported from France is made with Canadian spices, which are shipped to France. So they decided to make their own mustard and save the round-trip fare for the spices. Since I am not quite ready to tackle making my own cake pans, or make eel nuggets, I thought it would be more prudent to grind up a batch of homemade mustard on my own, in the spirit of Joe Beef.

I was shopping at my new favorite store in Paris, Le Retour à la Terre, and scored my trifecta of hard-to-find ingredients there; kale, white wine vinegar, and citrons. I had some mustard seeds in my pantry and a jug of maple syrup. Horseradish is still elusive in root form (I was told I had to go to Alsace, but wouldn’t it be easier just to put a case of the roots on a TGV bound for Paris every once in a while?) Yet I had a jar of prepared horseradish on hand, so I used that to add some zing to the mustard.

white wine vinegar and horseradish homemade mustard

So now I have a nice pot of mustard maison on hand for my next sandwich or marinade. And when I was grinding it up, a certain Frenchman observing the process said to me, “It’s smells comme le pastrami“, which I’ll take as a compliment. However I still don’t think I’m ready to tackle welding together my own cake pan quite yet, distilling my own absinthe, or building my own smoker (I somehow don’t think the neighbors would approve), but I do know that if I get back to Montreal, my first stop will be Joe Beef.

mustard recipe

Homemade Mustard

Inspired by The Art of Living According to Joe Beef (Ten Speed) by Frédéric Morin, David McMillan and Meredith Ericsson. I played around with Joe Beef’s version of homemade mustard, and came up with my own recipe, taking a nod from them by adding a dose of Canadian maple syrup to the batch. I added a spoonful of prepared horseradish to liven it up further. If you want to skip the wine, add water in its place. I’ve seen versions that used beer, too. Note that I used white (or yellow) mustard seeds. There are darker seeds are much stronger. I didn’t use them with this batch but it might be interesting to do a mix or use those instead. You can find mustard seeds in most supermarkets as well as Indian markets. The turmeric gives the mustard a lively color, doesn’t it? You could tone it down by adding less, although I find it rather amusing.
  • 1/3 cup (55g) mustard seeds
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) dry white wine, or water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch bigof cayenne
  • 2-4 tablespoons warm water, if necessary
  • optional: 1-3 teaspoons prepared horseradish, to taste
  • Combine all the ingredients, except the horseradish, in a stainless-steel bowl. Cover, and let stand for 2-3 days.
  • Put the ingredients in a blender and whiz until as smooth as possible. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of water if the mustard is too thick. Blend in the horseradish, if using.


Storage: The mustard will keep for up to 6 months refrigerated, although it’s best if used within one month.



    • Le Grumeau

    I really thought it was harder to make.
    Definitely want to try it soon, thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Sasha

    I hadn’t thought of adding horseradish to mustard before, but now I will certainly give it a try.

    I love homemade mustard. The process is so simple, but the outcome can be so different depending on if you add fresh figs (which I recommend and then I also recommend eating the fig mustard with spicy merguez sausages), fresh herbs, different quantities of black and yellow mustard seeds, different types of vinegars and on and on and on.

    Strange that you can’t find fresh horseradish in Paris. It is all around the French-German border.

    • Frances

    This looks great! What sort of flavour does it have? Medium-hot like a Dijon or mega-hot like English mustard? I like it with thinly sliced rare roast beef and piles of watercress.

    I’m heading to Lyon next week for work and I’ll have a couple of nights free to eat. I’m sure you’ve written about eating in Lyon here before but I can’t find your posts! Any pointers?

    • phanmo

    I’m in Nantes in the (north)west of France and I’ve only seen fresh horseradish once in the 7 years I’ve been here.

    I haven’t made mustard at home yet (but I have distilled my own absinthe).

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Sasha and phanmo: I still sometimes find it interesting how “regional” so many things are, like summer tomatoes (“You need to go to Provence!”) and horseradish are. I once found a fresh root at the Monoprix supermarket when they were having a “Festival of Racines (roots)” and they had all sorts of fun and rarely-seen root vegetables. But I think that few people would buy a horseradish root in Paris because they wouldn’t know what to do with it. And admittedly, it is a lot of horseradish to have on hand, although I love it.

    Frances: Lyon is great. I haven’t been in a few years but make sure you go to Bernachon chocolate – it’s great.

    • Paris Paul

    While it would take a lot for me to forsake Savora mustard, the book sounds like quite a fun find. I just may have to pick myself up a copy!

    • gu

    thanks for sharing this nice recipe.

    While I was reading it, for some kind of pretty unknown reasons I fell into your “favorite cookbooks of 2011” then I asked myself, did I missed the 2012 edition? Now i did a brief search by google on your website… and it seems there is not such a post..

    so I was asking, is there a particular reason? or you simply decided not to publish it? or maybe my reasearch was wrong and i missed it…

    have a nice (snowy) day in paris :D

    • debby

    Be aware it is shortly passover and i believe in the jewish areas you will be able to find horseradish root.
    thanks debby

    • Laurn

    Thanks for taking some of the mystery out of mustard — I’ve always wondered how it’s made and I’ve got to try making this. Is Dijon mustard named after the city or does it have a special ingredient than other mustards? Also wondering how to make seed mustard, just a different grind? I’m very fond of Fallot’s walnut mustard — hmmm, thinking about experimenting….

    • Deborah Flanagan

    Hi David, I can’t wait to try this recipe. I made honey mustard once but I’ve been wanting to try something more savory. Love the idea of horseradish. I’ve been schlepping my mustard pots “across the pond” for refills at the Boutique Maille in Paris. Maybe now I can save that suitcase space for chocolate.
    By the way, your photos and styling for this post are really great.

    • Jyoti

    Turmeric! Being Indian it has a special place in my heart and kitchen cabinet. I ground my own and David, it’s sooo much better than the already ground rubbish we get in the Indian stores. But yours looks the same color as when I grind it at home..How? Way to go with the mustard.. Love it!!

    • Annabel

    ????? I am confused – surely dry mustard powder is a staple of every store cupboard? When I was a little girl, mustard only came as a dry powder, and you mixed it up as and when you needed it, with water or (usually) vinegar, depending on how you wished it to taste. For me, mustard coming pre-made in pots – especially with all sorts of additions – is somewhat new-fangled (although I suppose it must have been around for about 40 years or so)! I am not very fond of it as a condiment, as I find that (rather like horse-radish) it overwhelms, rather than enhances, the taste of whatever I’m eating it with, but some of the modern,flavoured ones are rather nice.

    And I always keep a carton of mustard powder in my store cupboard – how else would I flavour a cheese sauce?

    • Meg @ Peaches and Cake

    This is AMAAAZING!!! I’ve always wanted to do this! Seems fairly easy why not give it a try?! I bet the fresh flavor is incredible.

    • Scott

    Would it be possible to use dry mustard in place of the mustard seeds for a smoother product?

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    gu: I wasn’t able to do my annual round-up this year due to other work commitments, but decided to feature some favorite books of the years in blog posts/recipes over the last few months.

    Scott: Yes, but you’d have to fiddle with the other quantities.

    Annabel: Dry mustard is very hard to come across in France – we do get Coleman’s, but it’s quite pricey. I got my mustard seeds from the local épicerie and they can be found in most stores that sell Indian products as well.

    Jyoti: I forgot where I got mine but the color is pretty brilliant.

    debby: Perhaps. Will have to take a look in some of the few shops in the Marais that might have it. Some friends have a restaurant and have it delivered from Alsace and they’ll often give me a piece if I beg them for one : )

    Laurn: Yes, it’s named after the city of Dijon although most of the spices are now grown in Canada and elsewhere. Edmond Fallot is one of the few that says they use locally grown spices.

    • Arthur in the Garden!


    • Joanie

    What a great idea! I never thought of actually making my own mustard. I usually read mustard labels in case the dreaded nitrites are used. Certain brands, such as Maille,list nitrites in their ingredients, unfortunately, and I refuse to buy them. I love the chefs at Joe Beef restaurant and plan to go soon. If ever you come to Mtl. check out chef Martin Picard’s Au Pied de Cochon. His philosophy of cooking is very much like the guys from Joe Beef. You’d love his restaurant, I’m sure.

      • Laurn

      Nitrates — ugh — I have to avoid them too since they give me bad migraines….along with other additives used in food today like MSG and sulfites to name a few. MSG is often masked in the ingredient list by calling it other names like natural flavors or carrageenan. Caffeine is another migraine trigger for me — I can’t tolerate it which means no chocolate or espresso :(

    • Carol

    I am going to try this! I didn’t even know you could make your own mustard. My daughter is going to live in Montreal for the summer, so I will make a point of going to Joe Beef finally. I go to Montreal fairly often but have never eaten there.

    • ami@naivecookcooks

    So motivated to try it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Claire

    Mustard! Probably my favorite condiment. While I’m currently hooked on Maille or Fallot, I will try this as I’m also a huge fan of horseradish.

    In an unrelated question, I’ve also become hooked on Fleur de sel de Guerande as a finishing salt and use regular sea salt in cooking, but I’m worried about not using iodized salt anymore. Do you use regular iodized salt in cooking?

    Beautiful pictures, by the way. Can’t wait to make this mustard. Enjoy your snowy Paris day.


      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I mostly use fleur de sel and grey sea salt when cooking. I don’t think they have specific iodized salt in France. (Iodine was added to salt in America to prevent goiters.)

    • Dawn

    David, next time you are in Montreal, e-mail me and I’ll join you at Joe Beef!! It’s as wonderful as you imagine.

    • gu

    thanks a lot for your answer :D David

    I will read the last and upcoming post yet more carefully in order to be able to add some lines to my desire list on amazon ;)

    • Natasja

    I bought black and yellow mustard seeds a few weeks agon and the packages keep staring at me….your post is just what I needed to get cracking. And I happen to have a horseradish root in the fridge as well, so will try a batch with that too.

    • Monika

    Mustard was one of the very few things I have been buying ready made but after reading this I may change this. What a wonderful idea to make your own mustard :)

    Have a good day.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Curiously, I never really thought about making my own mustard. But the taste is really a lot more powerful and interesting than what you get in a jar. There’s no comparison. It’s also very (very) easy and inexpensive – I’m kind of hooked on it now!

      (The only downside is cleaning the blender if it’s not stainless steel, but I just ran a light bleach solution through it – carefully – and it cleaned right up.)

    • olga

    funny, i had a similar first impression of the book and now i absolutely love it. i reread it from time to time and just love the voice and their irreverence. I’ve been intending to make my own mustard for awhile… might be a near time project!

    • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Apparently I need to check out this book. I must admit that mustard seems like something one would be able to make, but I’ve just never thought to actually do it. Sounds relatively easy too.

    • Eliza

    We run through mustard in our apartment. Mainly because we eat it with 5 pound bags of carrots and on every sandwich we make. I don’t think my mini food processor is strong enough to make mustard though. I shall probably have to wait until I get home in a week.

    My old bosses used to make the most incredible honey mustard at their restaurant. I’m still not sure what was in it, but now I know I can try to make it at home. Although I like the idea of maple syrup a lot. I’ll definitely play around with this.

    • Linda

    I’m going to try this if I ever find the mustard seeds. I have a recipe for homemade ketchup too. Things made by hand always taste so much better than store bought.

    • Su Su

    David, I totally agree about the Joe Beef cookbook! It was really fun to read and I even bought a copy for a good friend who loves cooking! The mustard looks very cheery. Thanks for sharing.

    • Dina

    That’s it??? And I thought it was this impossible thing! Thank you for the recipe. The food processor here is not mine and the bowl is plastic so I won’t be experimenting :( but I am passing on the recipe to a friend in Montreal who told me to not consider coming back without a few of those tiny flavoured Dijon mustard jars…. Now she can experiment on her own…. LOL

    • BoobooNancy

    Love this. I will for sure give this a try and I think I need to pick up that Joe Beef book … From the way you tell it, they sound like the Car Talk guys !!! While I’m born and raised east of Mtl, I did live there for a total of about 4 years … It is a wonderful City. The smoked meat places are to die for, though I’m not sure if they are still around ( Ben’s and the one on St-Laurent, among others whose names escape me ). Thank you for being such a great read :-)

    • Annabel

    Again, here you can buy mustard seeds – both the ordinary kind and the black kind – in every supermarket, right alongside dry mustard powder! I am amazed that the powder is unknown in the USA, as I am gathering from the comments! One lives and learns.

    Presumably a Maille-style mustard could be made by leaving some of the seeds whole, or by starting with powder and then adding seeds at the end?

    • Sabine

    Petit appartement à Paris. Pas de mixeur. Peut-il être fait avec du mortier et pestal?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Oui, un mortier et pilon ça va marcher – avec un peu d’effort!

    • Claire

    Annabel, I’m in the USA and dry mustard powder is common, at least in the Southern states where I live.

    • idiosyncratic eye

    Gorgeous colour. :)

    • Martin

    Most of the heat and punch of English mustard comes from the brown seeds, so do try a mix. You might find that you don’t need the horseradish!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I could only find white (yellow) mustard seeds at my spice market so I used them. But then I found I had a jar of darker ones in my cabinet, so I’m going to try those next time.

    • Janet

    I am a true mustard-head…(mustard addict). Can’t get enough of it, especially with roast chicken and frites, vinaigrettes, rabbit, even mustard ice-cream. Once I ate at Maison Pic, Anne-Sophie Pic’s restaurant in Valence, and she served a mustard bread – they must have known I was coming!

    As a Canadian who has eaten at Joe Beef in Montreal, I must say it was really one of the best eating experiences – had fresh crab followed by a whole roast guinea hen with a butter sauce, (I’m certain it had mustard in it) shared with husband, and a knock-out white burgundy, served by a sexy, edgy waiter who charmed us all evening.

    • Rus

    We’ll drink a toast to you David when we celebrate my birthday in Montreal next week. Alas, the budget won’t stretch to Joe Beef or the Liverpool House but we’ve got a favorite place in Chinatown to celebrate at. A great food town, Montreal, and we’re fortunate to be able to day trip there. One of my sets of Amora mustard glasses came from Montreal and other French delicacies as well. Your mustard looks both delicious and beautiful to look at.

    • Jose Roberto

    Que deliciosas recetas haces David Lebovitz.

    • Jiwon

    I live in Montreal, Joe Beef is one of the best restaurants! It was already very popular, but since the book came out it’s always booked, so we always go to Liverpool, their sister restaurant next door which has the same food, no difference at all. Excellent lobster spaghetti, which is also in the cookbook.

    • rainey

    Here’s my family favorite. We like it fairly coarse.

    Homemade Mustard
    Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

    1/4 cup each yellow and black mustard seeds
    3/4 cup vinegar, I use a fruity pommegranate vinegar
    1/3 cup water
    1 1/4 teaspoons honey, sugar will do
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    optional: preserves to tame it and add complexity, I like fig preserves or balsamic onions

    1. Soak mustard seeds in vinegar and water at room temperature in a 16 oz straight-sided wide-mouth jar for 2 days. (The shape of the jan is completely non-essential, of course, but you can purée and store in the same jar and there’s practically no clean up this way.) If seeds are not fully submerged, add just enough additional water to cover tho floaters are inevitable until they get fully soaked.

    2. Add honey and salt. Purée mixture in the jar with a stick blender to your preferred fineness or coarseness, about 2 minutes. (If you want much smoother you can repeat the whizzing before you use it.)

    3. Let rest and mellow for 2 weeks in the fridge. Then open the jar and adjust flavor and consistency with salt, jam or other sweetener and/or water to your personal preference for flavor and texture. It’s now ready for use. Bring on the salty ham!

    • Carolyn Z

    We always had Colman’s Mustard in the kitchen growing up in the San Francisco bay area. When I took home ec, I learned to put some in cheese sauce, as someone mentioned above. I am disappointed when I can’t find it in the market. My meatloaf recipe includes a 1/2 teaspoon of dry, hot mustard.

    • Natalie

    If you do get back to Montreal, you really must try Cafe Sardine. I travel a lot for business and am dining out on a regular basis. Of all the restaurants I’ve tried, I call this my new favourite. Exquisite food, great vibe, and a rustic little place with awesome staff. xoxo

    • Nick

    Hey David – most mustard in France is imported from CANADA!! No wonder Joe Beef (famous Montreal restaurant) does it so well!

    • Ken Sternberg

    Thanks, David. I’ve been wanting to make mustard for a while and this recipe looks like a good opportunity to try. When I visited a mustard producer in Beaune last year, the owner said that virtually all French mustard makers import their mustard seeds from Canada because they’re much less expensive.

    • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    I´m definitely making this recipe with both yellow and black mustard seeds. And with horseradish for sure! I just posted a pastrami sandwich with a homemade red wine mustard. There are so many easy condiments to make at home.

    • Helena

    Mustard is best, when made from powder, mixed just before the meal when it is to be used so don’t make a large amount but just what is needed. Experiment with 3 tsp powder and half a tsp liquid and then adjust. Mix with: water; milk; cognac; vinegar; honey and vinegar. I buy lots of packets of Coleman’s mustard as presents when I visit the Mustard Museum in Norwich (in England). The Coleman family brought mustard plants from America a long time ago and they have flourished in East Anglia ever since.
    Tomorrow I go to the Carmel Market to get horseradish root for Passover but shall not get our locally produced mustard powder which is only good for mixing with a commercially made-up mayonnaise. The mustard plant grows wild here. The Romans and the Crusaders probably took it back with them after their touristic enterprises here,

    • Marilyn in Montreal

    Thanks for mentioning Montreal two posts in a row — you’ve got a lot of fans here!

    • Blaine Walker

    reading your posts/articles is a delight. Lucky you. Lucky us.

    • Elyse

    David, bought the cookbook on your recommendation–good call. You have to try the beet sauce recipe for the cote de boeuf. It is a household favorite, even with my two young children (and the dog, bien sur)

    • Maria

    Looks great–love the turmeric color!
    I’ve seen fresh horseradish at the market in Saint-Germain-en-Laye; the RER is a bit cheaper than the TGV…

    • Flavor of Italy

    David, if nothing else you’ve just “beefed” up Joe Beef’s sales; like Elyse, I bought it.
    With all the hoop-la currently going on about horse meat perhaps now’s the moment to try the Filet de Cheval à Cheval…with a dollop of your mustard on the side.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Flavor of Italy, Elyse: I liked the book so much because it went in the face of so many over-polished chefs (tv-friendly), the stories are interesting and quirky, and the food isn’t like anything you see anywhere else. I haven’t made much from the book but some cookbooks are like that – they’re just great reads, whether you make anything from them or not.

    rainey: Thanks for the recipe. I did try one batch in my food processor and found the blender was a little more efficient for the task (at Joe Beef, they use a Vitamix blender) – didn’t try it with a stick blender, but appreciate the alternate technique!

    Paula: Yes, I didn’t realize I had dark mustard seeds for this batch. At my local spice shop, they just had the yellow ones. I think I need to hit the Indian market soon…

    Janet and Marie: When the book came out, I wrote to a friend in Montreal asking her if the restaurant was as interesting/cool as the book (because you never know!) – and she said, “Yes, it’s amazing – the real deal.” They seem like genuinely nice guys and glad their restaurants are successful.

    • Cristina

    Oh! But that little something that acompanies the mustard in your pics isn’t french or canadian or from the USA, that savory thing is spanish chorizo!! As a good spaniard I love it. There’s nothing like it to put inside bread & eat as a mid afternoon meal/snack. Thanks!!

    • Nick

    Colmans are apparently trying to encourage more farmers to grow mustard again. It was once one of the staple crops in Norfolk.
    English mustard traditionally uses no sweetner, so you don’t need vinegar either. Just mustard flour and water, but for my BiL’s German cooking, pickled meats and musseau a milder version works better.
    I add a couple of tbls of mustard flour to savoury pastry too, pepper works well too.
    Horse radish is available everywhere in Germany, I often get some when I’m there. Its a great keeper in the salad draw, so you can get plenty. It grows like a weed here all along the verges and hedgerows and is considered very invasive. I have my own patch, but I also have very heavy clay, so getting it out is a task for someone fitter than me. You should cultivate it on a raised bed of sand over concrete, so I’m told.
    If you need any help with the welding David, let me know. Be nice to be able to return the favour of skill sharing!

    • amy @ southern sweets and eats

    I am going to have to try this. My husband is in love with anything mustard. I’m gonna have to go to the store and get some decent cured meats to go with it.

    • Katy

    I live in Canada, and I definitely did not know that about the spices. Although I am not surprised. I’ve been wondering about homemade mustard recently, thanks for the recipe.

    • Altgol

    One of my favorite little shops in Paris is the Maille mustard store across from the Madeleine. I first went in there by accident some years ago. I bought some souvenirs including a lovely small crock pot, intending to use it to hold my measuring spoons at home, and then was astonished when they filled it from a mustard tap! Wow, is that taste better than the stuff in their little jars. Since then, I have acquired several of them and refill at least one (for a very reasonable price) every visit to Paris. Will be back in just over a month, counting the days.

    • BWL @ Better with Lemon

    You don’t have to build your own smoker. I bought the Camerons Stovetop Smoker from a few weeks ago and it works incredibly well. Only a tiny bit of smoke escapes from it, so the apartment doesn’t fill with smoke. And I made delicious smoked salmon and pork chops.

    • Michael

    I am a former Montrealer, now living in Florida. I constantly hear good things about Joe Beef from family and friends. Ironically, when I was young, the original Joe Beef was located in a seedy area down by the waterfront.

    My wife and I were in Paris last September and brought back a couple of jars of Amora Dijon mustard. Does this recipe end up tasting anything like a Dijon?

    BTW, I have replaced horseradish in seafood cocktail sauce with wasabi paste, which would probably work well in the mustard.


    • Diana

    Sources: dry mustard is seriously cheap in most Chinese stores where I find it repackaged from bulk into bags. My order from the spice company Penzey’s in the USA just arrived with a jar of powdered horseradish that I will try this weekend. The jar in the fridge just doesn’t hold up unless you use a lot of it so I thought if dry mustard works why not dry horseradish? I’m tempted to grow some as it seems possible that the gophers I share my land with may prefer to pass on eating it. Love your posts! D.

    • semiswede

    I am surprised at how often fresh horseradish is used in Sweden. You can find it easily in the grocery store and on restaurant menus, often with cod. And home made mustard is traditional at Christmas. I find it is the key to making lutefisk edible. You swirl some of the gorgeous home made mustard into the white sauce that goes on top of the reconstituted, gelatinous fish. There are even large ceramic, salt-glazed bowls that are traditionally made for grinding mustard seeds with a steel ball about 3 inches in diameter. I have the bowl, just need to get my hands on the ball and I’ll be in business this Jultid.

    • White

    For those who like some mustard *really* hot, it is important to keep any/all ingredients ice-cold. Any kind of “processing\ingredient” heat tones it right down (ever get any heat from mustard when cooking with it? No.). So whether you use water, wine, vinegar, lemon juice, etc. make sure they are ice-cold. Same caution applies if you grind your own seed — dodging heat is difficult, but using the appropriate equip. (minimal heat transfer from motor, for example) and avoiding processing batch sizes that lead to heat is a good thing. Same general rules regarding horseradish, also.

    • Anne de Montréal

    Thank so much, merci beaucoup David!!!!! As I already make my own mayo, yogurt, bread, crème fraîche (and all our meals), I will for sure start making and keep on doing your mustard!!!!
    If you ever come back to Montréal, I would like very much to leave for you at your hotel desk a box of my very own fudge (with a hint of cracked allspice)
    Thank you again for all!

    • Mike Avery

    I’m hardly an expert, having used a recipe from The Splendid Table that used a mix of black and white mustard seeds. It was zippy enough I didn’t feel any need for horseradish at all, and I like store bought mustard with horseradish in it.

    The black and white mix has a lovely bite without the horseradish.

    • heather

    we are just back to home in Belgium from the UK (after delaying a day to avoid the worst of the weather) where i got a lovely fresh muddy root of horseradish from Waitrose (and 2 sorts of fancy gin, Sipsmith and Caorunn)

    • Madeleine Morrow

    What ?? No fresh horseradish available in the Marais and Passover just around the corner? What will be eaten with the gefilte fish this year?

    Please pass on the recipe for Filet de Cheval a Cheval – it will give us something to do with all the horse meat that everyone is getting exercised about in the UK.

    • Janice

    I’ve begun making my own mustard as well, though I only partially grind the mustard seeds loving the crunch. Thanks for the reminder about using only the milder yellow seeds. I’ve been using half and half and found a little goes a long way.

    • vicki

    Great post. Lovely photos. I buy my seeds at the Fijian Indian Spice Shop here in Sydney, will now look to see if they come from Canada!
    I have to now been grinding the seeds in a coffee grinder before mixing with the liquids etc.. The powder is incredibly thirsty for liquid. Will try the soaking method now…

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Vicki: I actually did one batch grinding the seeds up a bit before soaking them, then letting them sit, and grinding them again a few days later. It works well but requires folks to clean the blender/grinder twice and while it perhaps made a slight difference, was not sure it was enough to warrant the double-cleaning.

    Madeleine: I don’t eat horsemeat, and don’t really recommend it due to the fact that the animals aren’t bred for consumption and are injected with chemicals and medications that specifically state that the meat shouldn’t be consumed. However I think in the book they mentioned they know the source of the meat they serve in the restaurant, which is another reason to go to Montreal – and Joe Beef!

    Mike: A French friend – who is a cook – came over a few days before I was making the mustard and when I told her I was going to do the project she said “We don’t use mustard seeds in France.” They I showed her my jars (in the post) and she was surprised. But they don’t really use mustard grains in their cooking, just regular mustard, so it’s not so easy to find the darker seeds here. (I did find some that I had bought at an Indian spice market a while back, though, after I made this batch and will use them next time.)

    Anne: Sounds like another reason to get back to Montreal! : )

    White: You’re right on the cold-pressing. The guys from Joe Beef told me they use a Vitamix, which I don’t have. But my regular blender worked pretty well and this mustard came out plenty spicy. It’s amazing how much bolder it is than anything in a jar – goes to shows how freshness really makes a difference.

    Michael: This mustard came out close to Savora, in fact, which is a more seasoned mustard, made by Amora.

    • Di-Di Hoffman

    Horseradish is a wonderful addition to homemade mustard. Fortunately I grow my own, so I always have a ready supply on hand. Adding beer to the recipe is also a variation worth trying.

    • Sylvia

    Annabelle — Colman’s mustard powder was a kitchen essential in the Pac NW of the US, where I grew up, as well. It was probably — in our house — only used in making Welsh rabbit, but for that, it was essential. When I moved to an Italian area in NJ I was surprised that it was hard to find. Now we’ve moved to Canada and I’m sure it will be in the major markets, although probably not in the markets near me which cater mostly to Somalis and Pakistanis. Will have to check. I’d forgotten all about mustard powder.

    • Madeleine Morrow

    I’m with you on the horse meat.I prefer an animal that can outrun a horse and that leaves it behind in the taste steaks (sorry) – ostrich. Felt a bit guilty though on visiting an ostrich farm to introduce the kids to these pre-historic looking animals and then promptly sitting down to lunch and eating their brethren! Its horses for courses I guess.

    • Sharon

    When you let it stand for 2-3 days is that in the fridge or on the counter? Please advise. Thanks. Can’t wait to try this.

      • Mike Avery

      Let it sit on the counter. It will keep getting more and more… ahhhh…assertive. When it’s where you want it, refrigerate it and should retain that flavor profile for some time.

    • Reva

    this looks amazing! i just heard a radio segment on ‘splendid table’ about homemade mustard, too. after seeing your gorgeous as always photos, i gotta try…

    • anna

    what a cool recipe! i would love to tinker around with and perfect the art of mustard making…first thing’s first though, have to learn that swirly french script for the labels. otherwise what’s the point?

    • lisa

    I made this using dark mustard seeds. Powerful, but terrific.

    • vicki

    I live in Dallas and was lucky enough to get to go to your cooking class at Central Market ( in Fort Worth) a year or so back..time does fly. Someone gave me that cooking class as a gift and I often tell people that it was perhaps the best class that I have been to and I learned so much. (This usually surprises people since I attended cooking school in France.)
    Yesterday, I finally got around to shopping for mustard seeds to make this wonderful sounding mustard…and FYI, there must be about 1,000 people in Dallas making your mustard this week. I went to several stores and couldn’t find any mustard seeds or even turmeric. After Central Market, I thought it was just the serious cooks, but it became a humerous adventure after about the 5th store..I promise that I am going to find the mustard seeds and make some mustard (I can put it on my State Fair corny dog!) I just wanted you to know how many people in Dallas are big fans of yours!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I loved going to Central Market and teaching, but it’s such a long ways away and such a busy week – I want to spend a week in every town and city I go to in Texas, and eat! Glad you liked the class and I hope to get back at some point in the future.

    • Jane

    David, my Mom used to grow her own horseradish in our garden.
    She would pick it and then chop it up in a blender.She would then add beetroot juice to it to make it red. This is the kind of horseradish we know, but in Paris we used to buy it and it was white. She would make her own “chrain” to go with her gefilte fish and to put on the Seder Plate at Pesach. It was real hot and not for sissies.
    It is now in the vegetable shops for sale here in Oz especially for Passover and I feel rather nostalgic at the moment.

    • Y

    Mustard is like a separate food group in this household. Really must try your recipe some time!

    • Kelinda

    Would this recipe work well with honey instead of the maple syrup please?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, it would. Or you could leave it out as well, although it provides a nice balance and background. Enjoy!

        • Kelinda

        Thanks! :)

    • Catherine

    I love this idea. I recently started making my own condiments. The catalyst was I needed some ketchup for a barbecue sauce I was making. I don’t like ketchup so I didn’t have any and didn’t want to spend the money on it. In the same Gourmet cookbook, I found a recipe for ketchup and decided to try making it. It was good and so much tastier than commercial brands.

    That was such a success, I next tried making cranberry ketchup, which I loved. It a beautiful deep jeweled red. It’s perfect in sandwiches or mixed in to make a lovely pan sauce for pork. Here’s the link to the recipe in case anyone’s curious about trying it: .

    Now, I have to try your mustard recipe once I’ve finished up the jar of mustard in my refrigerator. I can even re-use the jar.

    Thank you for the recipe.

    • tina@theunprocess

    I am in love with adding horseradish to this mustard. I’ve always felt mustard needs to have kick and this is definitely the way to do it! Thanks again David for elevating the simplest to new heights!

    • Andria

    Hello David,
    Finally took the time, to leave a message. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your work. Your honesty is honorable when it comes to reviewing a book as well as in your food writing. I have been learning a lot from you including this mustard recipe which I am looking forward to trying it. It is so much better when you make it yourself.

    Thank you so very much for sharing….


    • Alan

    I love the texture in the photo, we are so used to store bought mustard here i am not sure we would know what to do with homemade. I have been trying to find a healthier substitute to the mayonnaise I am so used to slathering on every sandwich I make this may be the answer I am looking for. Thanks!

    • Kerry

    Well David I have just made my first batch of mustard. I am waiting for hubby to get home from work to taste test. I have another bowl brewing. I only like mustard in cooking but hubby loves it on a ham sandwich, its too strong for me like that so hence he must be the official taster. And he loves horseradish I added 1 1/2 tspns he may get me to add more. He knows that today was the finishing off of the mustard recipe so he’s probably thinking about heavenly mustard all day at work & how he can’t wait to taste. Will let you know the outcome :-)

    • Kerry

    Oh I forgot to say that Hubby loves to really sweat when he eats his mustard its a sign of a good mustard in his view!

    • Kathryn

    I know we are on the mustard topic, but I spotted the word KALE in the text. So still no Kale in france apart from the 5eme and Holland? I do have seeds from USA and Holland if anybody here wants to plant them.

    • Brigitte

    I was really glad you talked about Joe Beef and their fun and weird book. I eat at Joe Beef and at Liverpool House (same owners and just next door) everytime I feel like celebrating something special. Their food’s real good. If you like cheese, try the beer cheese recipe, it’s easy and so so nice.

    B (from Montreal)

    • Kerry

    Well the homemade mustard has been a big hit! I’ve given away 2 jars to work colleagues, had some dinners at home with friends and had mustard available with our dishes & everyone loves it. I ended up adding 1 1/2 tspns of horseradish. Guests insisted I give them the recipe and in a week we have been through 1 jar already. Sure has been a lot of mustard talk this week! Thanks David I make quite a lot of your recipes and friends/family always love them and I tell them about you living in Paris and your fabulous blog.

    • Eva Brune

    You can probably find fresh horseradish in any Jewish section of town, in any town, particularly during Passover, as every Jewish cook I know (myself included) makes horseradish for the holidays.


Get David's newsletter sent right to your Inbox!


Sign up for my newsletter and get my FREE guidebook to the best bakeries and pastry shops in Paris...