Moustarde

French Mustard Sauce

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Le Ménagier de Paris, a 14th century French manuscript; and Le Viandier de Taillevent, a 14th century collection of French recipes.

The Original Recipe from Le Menagier De Paris:

Moustarde. Se vous voulez faire provision de moustarde pour garder longuement, faites-la en vendenges de moulx doulx. Et aucuns dient que le moust soit bouly. Item, se vous voulez faire moustarde en un village a haste, broyez du seneve en un mortier et deffaictes de vinaigre, et coulez par l'etamine; et se vous la voulez tantost faire parer, mettez-la en un pot devant le feu. Item, et se vous la voulez faire bonne et a loisir, mettez le seneve tremper par une nuit en bon vinaigre, puis le faites bien broye au moulin, et bien petit a petit destremper de vinaigre; et se vous avez des espices qui soient de remenat de gelee, de clare, d'ypocras ou de saulces, si soient broyees avec et apres la laissier parer.

An English Translation (from The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy)

Mustard. If you want to prepare a supply of mustard to keep for a long time, make it from fresh grape must at havest time. And some say that the must should be boiled. Item: if you want to make mustard in a village, in a hurry, crush mustard seed in a mortar and moisten with vinegar, and put through a sieve; and if you want to use it as soon as it has been strained, put it into a pot near the fire. Item: and if you want to make it weel, and taking the proper time, put the mustard seed to soak overnight in good vinegar, then crush it in a mill and add vinegar little by little; and if you have spices left over from making aspics, clare, hypocras, or sauces, grind them along with this and let it mature.

The Original Recipe from Le Viandier de Taillevent:

… et se vous la voulez faire bonne et à loisir, mettez le senevé tremper par une nuit en bon vinaigre, puis le faites bien broyer au moulin, et bien petit à petit destremper de vinaigre: et se vous aves des espices qui soient de remenant de gelée, de claré, d’ypocras ou de saulces, si soient broyées avec et après la laissier parer.

An English Translation (as translated by James Prescott in The Viandier of Taillevent)

Soak the mustard seed overnight in good vinegar, grind it in a mill, and then moisten it little by little with vinegar. If you have any spices left over from Hippocras or sauces, grind them with it.

The recipe for Hippocras has the following:

Take four ounces of very fine cinnamon, two ounces of fine cassia flowers, an ounce of selected Mecca ginger, an ounce of grains of paradise, and a sixth [of an ounce] of nutmeg and galingale combined. Crush then all together. Take a good half ounce of this powder and eight ounces of sugar [(which thus makes Sweet Powder)], and mix it with a quart of wine.

My Interpretation:

1 ½ cups mustard seeds 1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 ¾ cups white wine vinegar 1 Tbsp. grains of paradise
1 Tbsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. nutmeg
½ Tbsp. ginger 1 tsp. galingale
2 Tbsp. sugar

Place mustard seeds in bowl and fill with vinegar until mustard seeds are just covered, let soak overnight. Next day place mustard and vinegar into blender or food processor. Blend until mustard seeds have broken up and begin to form a paste, and more vinegar (or water) a little at a time until the desired consistency. Blend in spice mixture.

Sources:

The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy; Odile Redon, Françoise Sabban, & Silvano Serventi, translated to the English by Edward Schneider; The University of Chicago Press, 1998

Early French Cookery; D. Eleanor Scully & Terence Scully; The University of Michigan Press, 1995

Tirel Guillaume Le Viandier de Taillevent [Book] / trans. Prescott James. - Eugene : Alfarhaugr Publishing Society, 1989. - Second Edition. - A translation of the Vatican Library manuscript of "The Food Provider" based on the transcription by Pichon and Vicaire.

Tirel Guillaume The Viandier of Taillevent [Book] / ed. Scully Terence / trans. Scully Terence. - [s.l.] : University of Ottawa Press, 1988. - A translation into modern English the work of Guillaume Tirel, the chief cook of King Charles V.. - ISBN 0-7766-0174-1.

Scully D. Eleanor and Scully Terence Early French Cookery [Book]. - Ann Arbor : The University of Michigan Press, 1995. - 1st Edition : p. 377. - Introduces the general features of the food prepared for wealthy French households at the end of the Middle Ages. - ISBN 0-472-10648-1.