What Is Dijon Mustard and How to Use Dijon Mustard

Traditional-dijon-mustard-in-a-glass-jar

Dijon mustard hails from a city called Dijon in France. This peppery style of pre-prepared mustard is often used in the following applications:

  • Sauces
  • Vinaigrettes
  • Sandwiches
  • French inspired dishes (à la dijonnaise)

Characterized by a pale yellow coloring rather than the bright yellow associated with American-style mustard, learn all about this delicious mustard with an intense kick.

I. What Is Dijon Mustard?

This type of mustard comes from the metropolitan Dijon area of northeastern France.

Originally, the French made Dijon mustard using an acidic juice – verjus – made from unfermented, unripe grapes. This was mixed with mustard seeds and resulted in the traditional form of Dijon mustard.

Over time, most commercial manufacturers started using both vinegar and white wine rather than verjus.

What differentiates Dijon from other types of mustard is the use of black and brown mustard seeds, as well as the introduction of white wine. The darker mustard seeds are more bitter and more pungent than yellow mustard seeds.

You find Dijon mustard in both smooth and coarse-ground forms. Coarse-ground Dijon is more interesting due to the choice of blending involved.


II. What Is Dijon Mustard Made Of?

mustard-mustard-sauceand-dijon-mustard-and-seasoning

Modern Dijon mustard is made using black or brown mustard seeds and white wine.

If you opt for the more traditional form of Dijon mustard, the presence of verjus makes this mustard even more tart, with a characteristic flavor profile not replicated in contemporary Dijon mustard.

The basic ingredients for a classic Dijon mustard include:

  • Mustard seed
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Modified food starch
  • White wine
  • Egg yolks
  • Onions
  • Garlic

If you want to try some truly authentic Dijon mustard, source some verjus. If you cannot access this, use some vinegar or lemon juice as a serviceable substitute – more below on swaps and substitutions you can make.

While the end result is refined and impressive, making Dijon-style mustard is straightforward. All you need to do is grind up some brown or black mustard seeds. Next, you’ll need to purée these ingredients along with some salt, vinegar, and white win – or verjus for the real deal.

Perhaps the most pivotal part of the procedure involves soaking the mustard seeds before use, not forgetting the need to refrigerate the finished product for at least 24 hours before serving.

Now, before we highlight how to make Dijon mustard at home, a few tips on getting the most out of this rewarding process.


III. Tips for Making Dijon Mustard the Right Way

  • Use white wine you would choose to drink. Whites with more body – chardonnays, for instance – work very well. Chablis also makes a great choice when you’re making mustard. Again, choose a drinkable wine rather than trying to shave a few bucks off.
  • When you are soaking the mustard seeds in some vinegar, place them in a plastic or glass container rather than a metal container. Acid and metal interact, producing unpleasant flavors you don’t want anywhere near your Dijon mustard.
  • Use an immersion blender or countertop blender rather than a food processor. This will better break down the mustard seeds.
  • When you are blending, mix your mustard in 60-second bursts so you don’t overstrain the motor in your Vitamix.

1. How to Make Great Dijon Mustard

Now for the fun part and making mustard!

First, here’s the simple list of ingredients you need.

What You Need

  • Brown mustard seeds (4 tbsp)
  • Yellow mustard seeds (4 tbsp)
  • White wine (1/2 cup)
  • White vinegar (1/2 cup)
  • Confectioners’ sugar (2 tsp)
  • Kosher salt (1/2 tsp)

Now, all you need to do is follow these easy guidelines and you should generate some lip-smacking Dijon mustard.

What To Do

  1. Gather the above ingredients.
  2. Combine the mustard seeds, vinegar, wine, and sugar in a large glass bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and allow this to sit for a couple of days at room temperature – this is the most taxing part of the recipe!
  4. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a blender. Add the salt then blend to your desired consistency. This should take 30 seconds or so.
  5. Transfer the ingredients into a glass jar. Make sure the jar has a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate the mustard for at least 24 hours before using. You can keep mustard refrigerated for up to 2 months, as long as you keep it tightly covered.

2. How to Cook with Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard is considered a condiment. As such, you can spread this stuff onto any ingredients calling for mustard.

Dijon mustard works especially well with:

  • Hot dogs
  • Roast beef sandwiches
  • Turkey sandwiches
  • Corned beef on rye
  • Pastrami on rye

Beyond this, Dijon mustard is also a vital ingredient in many recipes, including sauces and vinaigrettes.

You will also often see Dijon mustard used in salad dressings. Not only does it deliver a tart kick, but it also adds some nice texture to the dressing.

Many BBQ recipes call for Dijon mustard, particularly rub recipes that benefit from the stickiness which holds the rub in place more effectively.


IV. What is the Difference Between Dijon Mustard and Yellow Mustard?

The main differences between Dijon mustard and regular yellow mustard – the American-style mustard, are as follows:

  • Color: This is the most striking difference between these two types of mustard. Dijon is a much less vibrant shade of yellow than American-style yellow mustard. It also has a faint tinge of brown.
  • Flavor and ingredients: Yellow mustard is made from powdered mustard seeds and a spice blend, along with some vinegar or maybe water. The taste is much milder than the French alternative. Dijon still has a distinct mustard flavor, but it is both more intense and more complex than yellow mustard. Dijon is made from black and brown mustard seeds and white wine.

V. Dijon Mustard Recipe Tweaks

With so few ingredients in Dijon mustard, if you get the ratios wrong, the result will be disappointing. It’s easy to end up with mustard that’s too pungent, too bitter, or too bland.

Here’s what you can do to maximize your chances of getting great Dijon mustard:

  • Rather than using white wine, consider using some peppery red wine. Grenache and Syrah both work very well.
  • Replace the white vinegar with some apple cider vinegar. This introduces a subtle bitterness with a delicate pungency.
  • You can substitute some sherry wine vinegar for the white wine vinegar. This imparts a delicate but striking flavor.

VI. Storing Homemade Dijon Mustard the Right Way

If you want an even more robust flavor, trying leaving the Dijon mustard to sit for two hours at room temperature before using.

Always store this type of mustard in a glass or plastic container with a tightly fitting lid. Do this and you can keep the mustard for up to six months.


VII. Conclusion

If you arrived here today at Madiba with no clue about what Dijon mustard is or how to cook with it, that should have changed.

We’re hard at work as always bringing you impartial guides to all the best kitchen equipment, as well as lots of informational content, recipes, and how-to guides. Consider Madiba your one-stop shop for all things kitchen-related. Be sure to pop back soon as we update our content daily.

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