Oftentimes when we think of a French mustard, our thoughts are of a condiment which brings intense warmth to our tongues and opens up the airways. Dijon is that mustard.
It’s unapologetically pungent, yet balanced. There is a momentary bitterness from the mustard seeds, a background sweetness from the white wine and sugar, and a delicate acidity from the vinegar.
This complex set of flavors gives it the versatility we look for in a mustard. And whether it is spooned atop a grilled hamburger at your next BBQ, used to dress a potato salad when dinning al fresco this summer, smeared on a turkey sandwich this homemade Dijon mustard recipe is one you are bound to make again and again.
What is Dijon?
Dijon mustard originated in the Dijon metropolitan area of Northeast France. Originally, verjus, a highly acidic juice made from unripe and unfermented grapes, replaced vinegar and was mixed with mustard seeds to make Dijon. Today, most commercial brands will use both white wine and vinegar, as we have done in our recipe.
The use of white wine and black or brown mustard seeds separates Dijon from other mustards. Black and brown mustard seeds are progressively more pungent and bitter than yellow mustard seeds. Dijon is either smooth or coarse-ground, and the choice of blending to coarse-ground makes for a far more interesting mustard.
Keys to Success
Here are a few tips to make the perfect Dijon mustard from scratch:
- Use a white wine you would drink, preferably something with a bit more body like chardonnay. Although a Chablis will also produce an excellent mustard.
- Use plastic or glass instead of metal when soaking the mustard seeds in vinegar, and in storing the finished mustard. The acid and the metal react with one another and produce off-putting flavors.
- Use a blender (countertop or immersion) instead of a food processor for the mustard seeds to break down properly. Here is a guide to everything you need to know about high speed blenders and our top immersion blender picks if you’re in the market for one.
- Mix the mustard 60 seconds at a time so you don’t overwork the motor.
Swaps and Substitutions
There are so few ingredients in this recipe, shift one too far off-center, and the result can be a mustard that is too bitter, too pungent, or not pungent at all. Here are a few swaps and substitutions that you can make without compromising the flavor of mustard:
- Use a peppery red wine, like a Syrah or Grenache, instead of white wine.
- Replace the distilled white vinegar with apple cider vinegar. The bitterness will be subtle with a soft pungency.
How to Store Homemade Dijon Mustard
For a stronger flavor let the Dijon mustard sit at room temperature for two hours before use. When you’re ready store the mustard in the refrigerator in glass or plastic. It will keep for up to six months.
More Homemade Condiment Recipes
- Honey Mustard
- Easy Aioli
- How to Make Mayonnaise in a Blender or Food Processor
- Homemade Tartar Sauce
This recipe calls for white wine. I recommend chardonnay or Chablis.
- 8 tablespoons (80 grams) whole brown mustard seeds
- 7 ounces distilled white vinegar, divided
- 4 ounces white wine
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
Soak and refrigerate mustard seeds:
In a small plastic container or glass bowl (do not use metal), soak the mustard seeds in 5 1/2 ounces of the distilled white vinegar.
Cover and set in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Soaking allows the mustard seeds to soften and plump up, which will make them break down easier during the blending process.
Strain the mustard seeds:
Using a sieve, strain the mustard seeds, and discard any vinegar. The liquid will be too bitter to use.
Blend the mustard seeds:
Place the strained mustard seeds in a blender. Add the remaining 1 1/2 ounces of distilled white vinegar, white wine, sugar, and salt into the blender as well. Blend at a low setting for 20 seconds, then slowly increase to a high setting and blend for 15 seconds.
Scrape down the sides of the blender. The consistency of the mustard will have thickened slightly.
Blend at low setting for 15 seconds, slowly increasing to a high setting and blend for 20 to 30 seconds. The consistency will be similar to a thick cake batter.
If you prefer a smoother texture, blend for another 20 to 30 seconds at a medium to high setting.
Chilling and storing the mustard:
Transfer the mustard to a glass jar or plastic container and cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. The mustard is quite bitter immediately after blending and needs time for the bitterness to diminish. It will keep for up to 6 months in the refrigerator.