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Feb 8, 2003 05:29 PM

Pommery mustard substitute?

  • m

Howdy, general topics 'hounds. I'm making a French beef stew that calls for Pommery mustard, but I am unable to find any. Pommery mustard, made by/in Meaux, is the french whole-grain mustard that comes in a white earthenware crock with a red wax seal, made by the same recipe since 1632. I'm in the Bay Area and, after much searching (and help from the Bay Area board), have come up with nothing. Apparently there is a 100% tariff on the stuff and it is generally difficult to get right now.

I've been told that there isn't really an adequate substitute for Pommery mustard, but I'm wondering if anyone can tell me differently. I've never actually had the stuff, but supposedly it is very strong and spicy, so I'm not sure that just any old whole-grain mustard would work. Any specific suggestions for a substitute?

Thanks in advance,

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  1. Pommery mustard's really good -- in fact, it was the first mustard I liked as a kid -- I used to eat in on Hot Dogs. But now that you mention it, I don't think I've seen it in a while. You can substitute any whole grain mustard for it. It's just a particularly good rendition of a whole grain. Try the Maille whole grain...

    1. I wonder if you have the same recipe for beef stew? I think it originated in the New York Times a few years ago and calls for both pommery and dijon mustard? I made it a few months ago and the sauce was great but the beef just would not get tender -- I wonder if I overbrowned it.
      I found the pommery mustard at Garden of Eden in New York and it was about $15 for a crock. That's the most I ever spent on mustard in my life. I am confident that any whole grain mustard would substitute just fine.

      3 Replies
      1. re: josephsm

        Mustard crocks make nice little vases.

        1. re: josephsm

          I'm pretty sure we're talking about the same recipe. (I think it was a Magazine article with a comfort food theme.) It was made with cognac. The stew was good (my beef did get quite tender) but *extremely* rich. I could barely eat half of my bowl. I must have used too much butter.

          I ended up using a regular old French whole-grain mustard ($4) as the Pommery stuff prooved elusive in the Bay Area. It apparently would have cost over $20 had I been able to acquire it anyway (!!). I think the stuff I used was a fine substitute.

          1. re: Missy P.

            That was definitely the same recipe, but my sauce was not too rich. It did taste much better the next day though. Still, I'm not sure I will make it again - now, what to do with 2/3 of a crock of very expensive pommery mustard?

        2. The Pommery Mustard that you speak of in the earthenware, has been one of my favorites for years. I bought it 25 years ago in Canada. Unfortunately in my own search for the mustard, it can no longer be imported from France into the United States due to tariff taxing. The importers do not want to pay the tax on it. I have tried many mustard stores in the US and many have claimed that I try another of their products and NOTHING compares to this mustard. I am in the middle of attempting to duplicate it with seed bought from Penzeys Spice. The mustard has a rich winey/salty flavor. Ill let you know if I can duplicate it and send you the recipe. Lobsterlady
          P.S..... they have it at supermarkets in Canada!

          7 Replies
          1. re: lobsterlady

            I would just substitute Maille wholegrain mustard or some equivalent. Have to love import laws! As for Canadian availability, it's not on the average supermarket shelf but is easily found in specialty stores. Or at least that is the case for Nova Scotia.

            1. re: petra_reuter

              They sell Pommery Mustard in the earthenware crock at Nicole's in South Pasadena. They have a mail order service. Does anyone know how to reseal the crock after you remove the sealing wax?

              1. re: LisaRiggens

                Trader Joes now sells a 'whole grain dijon mustard' from France. Not nearly as sharp as their other French mustard.

            2. re: lobsterlady

              Did you ever come up with a passable home made alternative for the Pommery Moutarde De Meaux? Just bought a crock for $12 at Fairway and while it's the best price I've seen in over a decade it's still a bit ridiculous for a condiment made from common cheap ingredients.

              1. re: NuMystic

                Yes, Use it all the time now.. I buy the cracked brown mustard seed at Penzy's spice, which is the best quality for your money spice store.
                Spicy Guinness Mustard
                1 12 oz bottle extra stout beer
                1 1/2 c brown mustard seed (already crushed/not ground)
                1/2 c. red wine vinegar
                1 tbsp kosher salt
                1 tsp black pepper
                1/4 tsp cinnamon
                1/4 tsp clove
                1/4 tsp gr. nutmeg
                1/4 tsp gr. allspice
                Place all ingredients in a glass container, mix and cover with saran wrap. Let sit on the counter for two will foam and puff. Place into a food processor and puree until it is at the consistency that you prefer. Place in crock with tight lid....let sit for at least one more week before using...stir. Will keep in refrig for up to six months... I think it mellow and blends the longer it sits.

                1. re: lobsterlady

                  Thank you so much for posting! Can't wait to give this a try.

                  For what it's worth, if you want a fairly mellowed mustard you don't have to wait to use, soak the mustard seeds in warm water without adding the vinegar for a few hours. This will serve to mellow it out without the waiting time.

                  Adding vinegar at the start is what preserves the maximum spiciness.

                  More on the chemistry of mustard preparation and lots more here:

                  1. re: NuMystic

                    Thank you for the website info...its a really good one!

            3. As this thread is from 2003, l suspect the meal has been made already.

              1. We have made our own Pommery-type mustard for thirty years using the following recipe: Soak 1/3 cup dark mustard seed overnight in 1 cup water. Next day add 2 tablespoons wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and blend (in blender---food processor does not do this job well) for a long time, maybe five minutes, until the mixture looks creamy. Refrigerate in a covered glass jar. Mustard will be very hot initially then gets milder as it sits. Keeps forever. Note: mustard seed can be bought at Indian grocery stores more inexpensively than it comes in supermarket jars.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Querencia

                  What makes you consider this a Pommery style mustard? Pommery is a french brand with more than one offering, the most famous being their Moutarde de Meaux.

                  The only defining characteristic across all of the Pommery mustards (with the exception of their dijon) is being very coarsely textured, and the one specifically discussed here the Moutarde de Meaux is also free of any type of sweetener.

                  Don't get me wrong, that recipe sounds tasty, and I'm definitely going to give it a try, but being sweetened and blended until creamy, it doesn't seem to have anything in common with the Pommery mustard being discussed.

                  1. re: NuMystic

                    I actually added honey to mine... What I was searching for in a Pommery was..."the heat" and the courser texture with some creaminess to the base. I actually play with the recipe to get the desired consistancy sometimes course, sometimes smooth... I have ran it for a long time in the processor to get a creamier texture...but my goal has usually been texture and heat. That is why I like the recipe... I have tired white wine instead of red, more vinegar, and different spices... I think mustard is like loving wine.. its to your preference and different ones can be paired with different food..its an art of preference. I also found this recipe recently, but I havent tried it yet.

                    1. re: lobsterlady

                      I came across that recipe doing the same search that led me here in fact. Definitely on my "to try" list now as well.

                      Since you mentioned you're after heat in particular you might forego his instruction of cooking the mustard seeds over low heat in favor of a cold soaking, which according to that other article will maximize the heat, especially if you add the vinegar right afterwards.