A Secret Mustard Recipe Uncovered

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Senior Member
Dec 29, 2009
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Oooooohh!! We love a secret! This mustard is made with grape must, so only the growers here can make this one:

I was looking to duplicate a french mustard, but NOT grey poupon. I have grape vines, and in my quest to find a Sicilian recipe for "Moo-stard-a" (more like Mustarda) which is a treat made from the must of grapes, I stumbled across Violet Mustard aka Moutarde Violette.

This is made in France and is a closely guarded secret! WHAT!! Don't tell ME it's a secret!! I will post what I found about it. It came from a recipe in the 13th century. Well, in my quest, I found many Medieval recipes which I will post the one's I think are what I'm looking for here.

I won't be able to test the recipe I will use until fall when the black wine grapes are sweetly ripe, and I get my hands on some freshly squeezed must. I'm thinking either the Alicante Bouchette, Cabernet or the Mouvedre will work. I use it for wine, but I can spare a quart to reduce down for a base for some delish mustard.

SOME BACKGROUND on Violet Mustard..copied from discoveries on the web:

"And we had to ask him about his most famous product, moutarde violette. For those who don't know this product (shame -- go buy in the store now...) it is a mustard made with 50% concentrated grape juice, which gives it a distinct sweetness which balances the sharp acidity of the mustard paste. The story goes that many hundred years ago, there was a Pope (one of them) in Avignon , France , who had come from Brive in the South-West. He had missed this mustard which was traditionally made there, and asked his nephew to go there to find the recipe and reproduce the mustard. He did, and the nephew became the first official Papal Mustardier.

Mr. Denoix had started development on this mustard many years ago as a part of Maison Denoix, to reproduce this historic recipe. Later when he stared Elie-Arnaud Denoix (or Domaine des Terres Rouges as the mustard is branded today), he reformulated it, and to my mind, improved its mustardyness and spiciness. He had then written a letter to the Vatican asking about the authenticity of the legend of the Papal Mustard, and got a reply stating that the Pope knew absolutely nothing about this. So much for stories.

The mustard is good anyway, and we do know it was used long ago because some cookbooks have survived with recipes using it in local cooking.
Violet mustard is made from red grape must (this is the freshly squeezed juice separated from the skins and stems) ground with mustard seeds (some say brown mustard seeds, some say black). It is a very pretty dark violet color, with its own distinctive flavor. It is not intended to be a cooking ingredient, but is meant to be served as a condiment with the finished dish."

Violet Mustard:

In the region called the Corrieze, I tasted a wonderful whole-grain black mustard, which looked like caviar. This particular mustard was an old recipe from the 14th century that somehow got lost in time, but in the past 30 years the Denoix family, who produce great walnut products, brought it back into the marketplace. The condiment is made from black grapes cooked, strained, and left to form a crust that is then mixed with mustard powder.
A dollop of this heady mustard is splendid on grilled duck breast, veal chops, or black sausage. Another great use of moutarde violette is as an accompaniment to pot-au-feu and charcuterie. It also makes an extraordinary vinaigrette. Keep an opened jar in the refrigerator, and don't heat this mustard for too long because it loses its taste.

Moutarde violette is a rare French mustard that uses grape must to create a purple paste. The best grain mustards should be sharp and give an immediate bite, sometimes like little jumping beans on the tongue.

Ingrédients :
Mout de raisin rouge (50%), graines de moutarde, eau vinaigre d’alcool, sel, épices.
Translated: Must of grape red (black/purple) (50%), black mustard seeds, water spirit vinegar (distilled malt vinegar), salt, spices

AND THE MEDIEVAL Recipes I think are the closest:

Ancient Medieval Mustards

153. Mustard (124) MOSTAZA
You must take mustard seed, and clean it of the dust and the soil and the stones, and grind it well in a mortar; and when it is ground, strain it through a cloth strainer; and then take the mustard powder and put it in a mortar with a crustless piece of bread soaked in meat broth, and grind it all together; and when it is well-ground, blend it with a little bit of lean broth without fat which is well-salted; and when it is blended in a good manner so that it is not too thin, take honey which is good, and melted on the fire, and cast it in the mortar and stir it well until it is well-mixed, and prepare dishes. Some cast a little vinegar in the broth; you can add peeled, toasted almonds, ground-up with the mustard.

154. French Mustard-- MOSTAZA FRANCESA

You must take a cantaro (125) of the must of wine, either red or white, and grind a dishful of mustard that is select and very good; and after straining it through a sieve or a sifter, grind with it, if you wish: a little cinnamon, and cloves, and ginger, and cast it all, very well-mixed in the mortar, into the cantaro or jar of wine; and with a cane stir it around a long while, so that it mixes with the must; and each day you must stir it with the cane seven or eight times; and you will boil the wine with this mustard; and when the wine has finished boiling, you can eat this mustard. And when you want to take it out to cast it in the dish to eat, first stir it with the cane a little; and this is very good mustard and it will keep all year.

155. Another Very Good French Mustard Which Lasts All Year-- OTRA MOSTAZA FRANCESA MUY BUENA Y DURA TODO EL AÑO

Take a caldron which will hold two cantaros, and fill it with red grapes and set it to cook upon the fire until it is reduced by half and there remains half a caldron which is one cantaro; and when the grapes are cooked, remove the scum with a wooden spoon; and stir it now and then with a stick; and strain this must through a clean cloth and cast it into a cantaro; and then cast in the mustard, which should be up to a dishful well-ground, little by little, stirring it with the stick. And each day you should stir with it, four or five times a day; and if you wish, you can grind with the mustard three parts cinnamon, two parts cloves, and one part ginger. This French mustard is very good and lasts all year and is mulberry-colored.
Credit http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MANUSCRIPTS/Guisados1-art.html

Le Menagier De Paris: MUSTARD. If you wish to provide for keeping mustard a long time do it at wine-harvest in sweet must. And some say that the must should be boiled. Item, if you want to make mustard hastily in a village, grind some mustard-seed in a mortar and soak in vinegar, and strain; and if you want to make it ready the sooner, put it in a pot in front of the fire. Item, and if you wish to make it properly and at leisure, put the mustard-seed to soak overnight in good vinegar, then have it ground fine in a mill, and then little by little moisten it with vinegar: and if you have some spices left over from making jelly, broth, hypocras or sauces, they may be ground up with it, and then leave it until it is ready.

From what I have learned, I think they use some mustard powder and leave some of those black seeds whole. I plan to toast black mustard seeds to get a nice nutty flavor, but if this stuff looks like caviar, the seeds must be whole. I am assuming the spices are cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Possibly some pepper. I may also grind some of the mustard seeds with spices in the coffee grinder to get my powder. Hmmmmmmmmm

Medieval Recipes: http://www.gallowglass.org/jadwiga/herbs/Mustards.html

I use the blender type coffee grinder as it can chop the seeds much finer compared to a food processor. Yes, time makes the difference. Even a 24 hour time will give a decent taste to most mustard mixtures. Not really difficult, just challanging and can be done with many recipes and added ingredients. For vinegar, try some milder types like balsamic and rice wine. I would even expect that cider vinegar and a bit of sweetener would make a nice mustard with an apple tang to it. You can also add a bit of tarragon to a mustard.

The best ingredient for homemade mustard is time…
Oh, and the ONLY wine that can stand up to anything with mustard is Speakeasy Cellars Burning Desire-- Smokin Jalapeno wine.


Arctic Contributor
Oct 26, 2008
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Thanks Suzi, really cool!

I've cooked for years and three things I haven't but will mess with is, mustards, making my own sausage, and candy. I hate candy, love mustard, and am half polish. So two of those are in my very blood!!!!

I make a few things I'd like to share but even though I have been a member in here for a long time, we really don't talk enough about food, and we should.

Allie will be back next week, she loves to talk about food also!


I make a mean batch of KIM CHEE, if anyone is interested.

I would have to change the above to read, "eat, drink, and be divorced!" LOL. Unless you are married to a Korean!

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