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Thursday 23 February 2012

Sluttishly Vegetarian: Mayonnaise

This week it's apparently National Chip Week on top of Shrove Tuesday (how were your pancakes?) I don't know who makes up National Weeks and I don't much care. What a happy bonanza of a food week this is. If you're going to have chips (please do, in sandwiches with squishy white bread and loads of salt and vinegar) then you're going to need something to go with them. Some of you might be die hard ketchup fans, but I'm all about the mayonnaise. I love the stuff. Usually my mayo comes out of a jar, but not this week. This week I made my own. In your face, Hellman's.

Real mayonnaise is one of those food myth foods. "Ooooh, it's difficult!" and "Why bother? Why not just buy it in a jar?"are a couple of things people have said to me. But here's the thing, it's not difficult. And it really doesn't take that long. And holy crap it's good. That said, you are a FOOL if you try this with a balloon whisk. I used an electric whisk (admittedly with only one whizzer), and an hour later I still couldn't feel my whisking arm properly. Don't do it by hand. Just don't.

The recipe? It's a mash up of ALL OF THEM. Delia says groundnut oil and I had some of that in already. But she also says use mustard powder and I wanted to use fancy Dijon a la Michel Roux. Some say pour the oil in a steady stream, some say drop by drop to stop the mixture from splitting. It's confusing, but a mish mash of the methods worked brilliantly and now I've got about 275ml of mayonnaise to go with my chippy tea.

You'll need:
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 250ml groundnut oil
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
Make it!
  • Pop the egg yolks in a bowl with the mustard and salt and pepper.
  • Pour the oil into a measuring jug that's easy to pour from (mine does not have a good spout, my kitchen counter was a bit of a state).
  • Whisk up your eggs and mustard and then start pouring the oil in drop by drop. This will involve you shouting "nooooo, that's too much oil! please don't curdle!" at your bowl. If you're pouring in about 5-8ml at a time, you're doing OK. Once one drop is mixed in, pour in another.
  • Keep adding drop by drop. Soon it'll start to thicken (eventually, you'll probably have swapped arms a couple of times) and then you can add a little more oil at a time - you've gone past the 'point of no return'. If it does split, Delia recommends starting from scratch and adding the curdled mix in small parts to the new mix. I'd probably have just sulked.
  • Once the oil is all mixed in (that should take about 15 minutes), you're nearly done! Try it, and add the white wine vinegar to taste. You should be left with a glossy, gloopy mayonnaise that's sharp and yet oh so creamy. And whizzers to lick clean.
  • What now? Chips, obviously.


  1. Why, oh why, have I not thought of making my own mayo before? This looks and sounds delicious!

  2. Because everyone says it's a faff and the stuff in the jar is pretty tasty. I promise this is so much better.

  3. The vision of you shouting "Nooooooo...etc" at your bowl has really made me laugh! (Mainly because I shout at misbehaving recipes/ computers/ other inanimate items quite often)

    1. It really did happen. I'm certain my kind coaxing words stopped the curdling.

  4. Can I just confirm that if you make this by hand (with a balloon whisk) you will be in copious amounts of pain for the next two days.

    Alternatively make it with a balloon whisk whenever you need to tone up your arms and you'll be fine!!

    1. Reckon I'd have given up halfway through if I'd tried it with a balloon whisk. I'd have been there an hour later.


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