Well I’m not at all sure how this is going to turn out but..we’ll see! Today I decided to try a new cheese- Montasio. It is an aged Italian and much different to make than my usual chevre. I was feeling a bit absented minded today and may not have gotten all the details just right, so I only hope it turns out edible– I’d hate to waste a full week’s worth of milk. The curds ended up a little different than I expected- stuck together in big blobs- but I don’t have enough experience with Italian cheeses to know if that is how its supposed to be! Due to my absentmindedness I didn’t take as many pictures or notes as I meant to, but we’ll muddle through anyway.
For this cheese I needed 4 gallons of milk, which means I’ve been saving milk for over a week. The fridge was getting very full!
This cheese recipe involved a lot of heating the milk up to a certain temp and then waiting, and then heating it to another very specific temperature, stirring it just the right amount and waiting some more. Which is to say, its a lot like making any aged cheese.
I’ll let it press under 8lb over night and then tomorrow I’ll put it in a brine bath for 12 hours, dry it at room temp for a day and then pop it in the cheese cave (i.e. wine cooler) for a couple of weeks. Eventually it’ll get a lovely coat of honey and several more weeks of aging. The toughest part of making an aged cheese is waiting a month or two before being able to sample it! Since I’m making two rounds, I may only use the honey rub on one and try something different on the other. A Chipotle rub is also traditional, and an herb rub could be interesting…
UPDATE: I used a recipe from this book. I’ve come to find out that this recipe is very different from a traditional Montasio in several key ways so the combination of the unusual recipe and some mistakes that I made (like not cutting my curds into small enough pieces) means that I did not, in fact, create a Montasio cheese. I made…something else. We’ll just have to hope its something yummy.