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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 days...it 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. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note...

                    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.

                2. Today, quite by coincidence, I found two places that sell Pommery Mustard. My husband's co-worker bought some today at Kar'Ikter, 418 Union Street, San Francisco (Union Square), 415-434-1120 - karikter.com. They sell the original and most popular one - in the crock. It is in the $20+ range.

                  Another source is the Mustard Museum in Wisconsin where you can buy online.

                  It's also sold on Amazon.

                  1. Pommery is just a brand, and is described as having "sharp vinegar flavor" and "crunchy whole mustard seeds" in The Good Cook's Book of Mustard by Michele Anna Jordan. She writes that Bordeaux mustard is similar, but spicier.

                    I would think a reasonable substitute could be found, using that description as a guideline.

                    1. Sur La Tab has it, for aroug 20 bucks for a big crock

                      1. Coquelicot has it in stock. It's a lovely little shop in Larkspur, CA for 16 years.
                        503 Magnolia Ave
                        Larkspur, CA 94939
                        (415) 924-0279

                        1. I realize this thread was started by the OP long ago, but was revived yesterday with a couple posts so it seemed the best place to share the following.

                          Pommery mustard was my favorite growing up. Kept next to the French's yellow mustard I still sometimes crave(d). Always had Pommery in the fridge as an adult - until it stopped being carried by regular stores several years back. When the price went through the roof compared to what it used to be. Still comes to most of the globe in a wax-sealed pottery crock with a cork lid, and recently changed to a plastic lid to confirm with U. S. regulations (hope the US version is the same recipe). Price went up years ago in a sudden jump (2-5x) from $5-$8 a crock to $20-$25+ for same 17.6 oz size when can find (a bit rich for my blood for daily use so down to one crock a year as a treat and leaves me wanting more). Now is available only in specialty stores and mail order. So working to make my own clone.

                          There are multiple kinds and I am talking about Pommery Mustard de Meaux with a red top. Its history is unique and so is the taste to me is close to perfect on some things including grilled bratwurst. Is to me an amazingly smooth while tasty whole-grained mustard. The whole mustard grain is kept intact but the seeds are soft. Has been served at the tables of French kings since 1632 and made by the Pommery family according to a closely guarded secret recipe since 1760. Some say online originally made in Meaux. While according to surlatable.com, "The Fallot family has enjoyed a worldwide reputation for exceptional quality, since 1840. The Mustards are made in Beaune, France near Dijon, where seeds are selected for their high quality and are then ground in a traditional stone mill." Have not been able to find all the history on it in one place, just bits and pieces in my searches so far.

                          The price raise in the U. S. and less availability is possibly due to the Government "Luxury Tax" that went into effect for French goods including Champagne and Ferrari cars. As Pommery mustard seems to have vanished about the same time in my local grocery stores, but not sure related.

                          Ingredients: Water - Mustard seeds - Vinegar - Salt - Mustard husk - Spices

                          Seems made starting from crushed and / or whole seeds (maybe both). Differs from Dijon by the use of the vinegar in its manufacture. The whole mustard grain is kept intact but the seeds are soft when eat. I feel time, grind, and / or mustard seed variety(s) could be critical factors during preparation.

                          Chowhounders we need a tasty tried and true recipe. Am working to perfect a clone version here. All ideas are welcome and will share what I come up with if get something close.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: smaki

                            The tax levied against France for not supporting the start of a War in Iraq is exactly why the price skyrocketed. The original statute should have rotated between products as originally written, but the rotation was forgotten leaving my Pommery Mustard free.

                            I miss having this mustard in my cupboard.

                            1. re: smaki

                              I feel your pain and had a similar experience of growing up with this in fridge at all times, and like you began scouring the web for clone recipes.

                              I've since given that up now that there are two very respectable and affordable alternatives both available from Fairway.

                              First is the Fairway Clone. My own bottle procured from them says "Moutarde de Grains" on the from despite the pictured crock saying Dijon Mustard. I'm guessing this was due to a cease and desist?:

                              While not a 100% match it is damn close. I'm talking a good 90% of the way there and closer than any other I've tried. Most importantly I found it close enough and cheap enough at only $4.99 to make me give up going to the trouble of making it myself.

                              Next up is the mustard from the Fallon dynasty which I only just noticed and haven't yet tried:

                              At $6.99 for only 8.75 oz I'm also not likely to either given that Fairway also carries….

                              The authentic Moutarde de Meaux which is the topic of discussion and worship for only $9.99!

                              At that price I'm now finally at peace.

                              I keep two crocks on hand at all times now.

                              The Fairway clone for cooking, dressings, and any other applications where it is only an ingredient and the real mccoy for when this Mustard of Kings will rightfully be presented in all it's glory unsullied on the plate or directly on a delicacy.

                              1. re: NuMystic

                                No cease and desist possible -- "Dijon mustard" is not an AOP, so French's could slap it on a plastic squeeze bottle if they really felt like it.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Wasn't referring to "Dijon Mustard" which is of course generic. Were you jesting about French's, or do you not realize that they've been selling squeeze bottled dijon for ages now? :)

                                  1. re: NuMystic

                                    I was jesting -- I may not have lived in the States for a few years, but I'm not under a rock! :)

                                2. re: NuMystic

                                  that pommery price is good enough to warrant a mustard-running operation from nyc to dc…..

                                  or at least some hoarding next time i'm up in nyc.

                                  1. re: smaki

                                    You've (or Sur la Table has) gotten two different companies mixed up.

                                    Pommery (Moutarde de Meaux) is made by Les Assaisonements Briarde, located in Meaux, which lies about 35 miles east of Paris on the Marne River. http://www.moutarde-de-meaux.com/inde... They are very much alive and well and churning out buckets of mustard every day.

                                    Fallot is referring to Edmund Fallot, which is located in Beaune, just outside Dijon. http://www.fallot.com/en/index.php They make whole-grain mustards, but their raison d'être is smooth, Dijon-style mustards. You can visit their factory when in Beaune.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      Thank you for the clarification. The surlatable.com broken page is at: http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO... shows FALSE info next to a picture of "Pommery Meaux Grain Mustard in Stone Jar" saying "The Fallot family has enjoyed a worldwide reputation for exceptional quality, since 1840. The Mustards are made in Beaune, France" ... A screen picture of same just taken: http://designavs.com/pics/121206_surl...

                                      What was I thinking believing Sur la Table a French cooking lessons and specialty store about something in France?! Do appreciate your timely accurate information to clarify Pommery mustard history. Another example of how rumors could spread online. Maybe someone someday there will see this and fix their mistake.

                                      Wonder if true "a condiment served to French kings in the 17th century" or false marketing hype.

                                      1. re: smaki

                                        that was why I said it was either you or them -- from your post it seemed like SLT was at fault. (sloppy, sloppy work by their copywriters)

                                        Yes, it probably was served to French kings in the 17th century -- claims like that are typically backed up with actual documents, because it's far too easy to call bs on stuff like that.

                                        and it's completely logical -- the ruins of an old chateau owned by Catherine de Medicis, Gabrielle d'Estrees (favorite mistress of Henri IV and mother of several of his children) and later Marie de Medicis stands just on the outskirts of Meaux -- so there was a not-inconsiderable amount of royal traffic through Meaux.

                                  2. Where can we buy quality mustard seed?