I do so love cheese. After making my own mozzarella, I have been bitten by the cheese bug. And now, the adventure continues.
This time it’s homemade chèvre. It actually is even EASIER than making the mozzarella, but it takes far longer. I love goat cheese; I really only discovered it about 2 or 3 years ago.. and I have Amanda to thank for that one.
I set out to make this and blog about it on Sunday, and learned again one of those lessons that you always know but often forget to practice.
Always read the WHOLE recipe before starting it. Always!
The process is very simple, but it takes 18-30 hours. Don’t let this scare you – all but about 5 minutes of this time you’re just letting the cheese do it’s thing. But yeah, this one doesn’t quite fit into a Sunday afternoon.
|ESTIMATED CALORIC INFO|
|Serving Size||1 ounce|
|Calories from Protein||25%|
|Calories from Fat||70%|
|Calories from Carbs||5%|
You will only need a few ingredients…
- 1 gallon of goat milk (raw or pasteurized but not ultra pasteurized)
- cheese salt
- chèvre direct set culture or liquid rennet
- butter muslin/cheese cloth
The first thing to do is pasteurize the milk if it is raw. This is easy.. pour all the milk into a large stock pot, and heat just over 145 degrees F. Maintain this temperature for 30 minutes. That’s it. Pasteurized. Done.
I can’t believe Louis Pasteur actually managed to get such a simple process named after himself. Well done, Louis. Well done.
What about the first guy to bring beer down below a certain temperature for a period of time before consuming? He never got a ‘process’ named after himself. Unless his name was Roberto Refrigerate. Re-frig-eh-rah-tay. Hmm, now I’m curious…
OKAY so back to the milk. You will find this recipe allows for many such daydream moments. Happens to the best of us.
If you are using liquid rennet, put 2 tsp of it into a small bowl with 1/4 c cold water. Set aside.
Once the milk has been pasteurized, let it cool back down to about 85 degrees F. At this point, add either the liquid rennet and water mix, or the direct set packet to the milk and stir with an up and down motion for 30 seconds.
Now… put a lid on it. Take the stock pot off the burner.
For the next 12-24 hours, do something that doesn’t involve the goat’s milk at all. I recommend:
Especially after all this EXHAUSTING work stirring some milk and then putting something into it.
After 12-24 hours (give or take a minute or two), the curd should be pretty firm and the whey has separated (the whey is a clear liquid, the curd a more substantial white color). Touch the top of it lightly with your fingers to confirm. Set a colander in the sink and line it with butter muslin, then gently ladle the curds into the colander.
Cover up the top with the rest of the muslin so it is somewhat sealed off.
Now, leave it alone again for another 6-12 hours while it drains. During this time I recommend:
- Sleeping again
- Going to work (avoid if possible)
- Free time!*
*(Free time can be spent on an activity of your choosing)
Guess what. That’s pretty much it.
The longer you wait during this last period, the harder the cheese will get. If you let it drain for closer to 12 hours, it will be more crumbly.
Take the goat cheese out of the colander and put it in a bowl.
Once it’s in a bowl, mix it up with a generous amount of salt – feel free to taste as you add it, this is your final product. I usually use about 1 tablespoon worth of salt.
This is so yummy. You can also add fresh herbs here, or maybe some almonds or dried fruits.
Yield should be about 2 pounds. It will keep in the fridge about two weeks.
Milk – $12
Rennet – >$1.00 per batch
Total cost – $13
Goat cheese runs me about $5 for 4 oz at my market. That’s $20 a pound. This process yields twice that. And it even tastes better. And it frankly couldn’t possibly be easier.
So according to the internet, refrigerate comes from the Latin ‘frigus’ which means cold. So Roberto has never gotten the credit he deserves. A shame, truly.