4 March 2008


The famous Swedish mustard dill sauce that goes so well with all kinds of salmon is called hovmästarsås, which translates as Maître d's sauce. Sainsbury's used to have one very similar, but they seem to have discontinued it, at least I haven't seen it in the superstores I've been to. So tonight I picked what came on top of the google search, from the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. Here's the translation.


2 tbsp granulated sugar
0.25 tsp salt
6 tbsp fresh finely chopped dill
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 dl grapeseed oil
finely ground white pepper

  1. Mix together sugar, salt and dill in a pestle and mortar, as this brings out the dill flavour.
  2. Stir in the mustard and vinegar.
  3. Slowly add the oil, so the sauce doesn't split.
  4. Add pepper to taste and leave to stand for a few minutes before serving.
Writing the recipe, I realise that I made several mistakes, which is why I ended up with a pesto lookalike. I didn't have fresh dill and used dried instead, so halved the quantity, but I should have used maybe a quarter at most. Next I only added 2 tbsp mustard. Third, I didn't have red wine vinegar so used white wine vinegar, though I don't think this made too big a difference. Finally I didn'thave white pepper and was going to use black pepper, but forgot completely about it.

As this is very much a mayonnaise type preparation, it might speed things up if it's made in a blender. I stirred manually and I didn't achieve the magical point when it all goes creamy, so my sauce kept separating fairly quickly.

But as Lundulph put it, it has sugar, salt and mustard, so all the right flavourings are there and you can't go wrong. Well obviously I did.

We had cold smoked salmon slices accompanied by ratatouille and steamed Jerusalem artichokes. It actually tasted very nice.

In order to correct things, I'll keep adding non-dill ingredients until it reaches the look of creamy mustard with bits of dill in it.

Update 5th March: I added another tablespoon of Dijon mustard and not only did the sauce get closer to it's correct colour, once stirred in, it didn't start separating immediately. It's still very green though.

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