I have always felt that cranberry sauce is bigger than Thanksgiving. Though it plays an important role on turkey day — ensuring our palates don’t get oversaturated with salt, fat, and sage — the sweet, tangy condiment can be used to balance rich, savoury foods all year long. It’s especially palate-cleansing when paired with unadulterated mustard powder.
As we learned previously, the easiest way to make a super-spicy mustard is to mix dried mustard powder with a little water and wait 10 minutes. That’s it — the moisture activates the enzymes in the seeds and allows them to free the pungent compounds responsible for bringing the pain. You can leave the mustard as-is, or you can mix it with something sweet to create a condiment that’s a perfect partner for salty meats.
The “something sweet” is up to you. You can use honey. You can use maple syrup. Or, you could lean into the holiday season and grab a little bit of cranberry sauce. Spicy cranberry mustard will absolutely own on your leftovers sandwich, yes, but it will similarly rule in a ham and cheese, on a soft pretzel, or as a hot little cheese plate accoutrement. It’s a punishing and delicious blend of sweet, tangy, and sinus-obliterating, and it’s easy to make. Hot cranberry mustard is at its hottest when it’s fresh, so make a little as you need it for maximum pungency.
Hot and Sweet Cranberry Mustard
- 1 part mustard powder (I like S&B)
- 1 part water
- 3 parts cranberry sauce (jellied makes for the smoothest mustard, but whole berries can offer a nice pop of contrast)
Combine water and mustard powder in a small bowl and stir to form a paste. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes and let those pungent compounds wake up. Add cranberry sauce, and stir and mash with a fork to make a smooth mustard .(Stir away from you face, as the mustard gas is kind of painful!) Taste and add more cranberry (or a bit of honey or maple) if needed. Smear on turkey sandwiches, ham sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, or any other sandwich with rich, salty fillings.