When I was cruising for some different types of cheese to make to add to my recipe collection I ran across this recipe. It sounds like a Gouda that has been marinated in wine. A brilliant white center with a nice crimson rind to it. And since this fits into my month of making washed curd cheeses this is the perfect one to try. This is a Spanish cheese recipe that originally used goats milk to make. But since I don’t have any goats or access to any goats milk I will be making this with cow’s milk. The wine bath makes the outside of the cheese more acidic and reduces the chance of mold growth on it.
- 2 gallon Whole milk (which is about 3.25% fat by the way)
- 1/8 teaspoon Mesophilic direct set culture
- 1/8 teaspoon Calcium Chloride diluted in 1/4 cup unchlorinated water
- 1 teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup unchlorinated water
- 1 Tablespoon cheese salt
- 1 quart of water heated to 175°F
This is a salted washed curd cheese so the main difference from a Gouda recipe is that you add the salt to the curds before pressing instead of brining it after the press.
1 bottle Sweet Red wine like a dark Lambrusco or a dark Cabernet. You need to make sure you have enough to cover the cheese after pressing. I am actually going to try 2 batches total of this. One with the red wine, and a second using some Jalapeno wine that I made last year. The Jalapeno one will not have a very dramatic color change since the wine is a golden color.
Cheese making steps:
- As always pour your milk into your 2 gallon double boiler and bring up to 90°F
- Now add you calcium chloride and starter culture and stir in. Let sit while maintaining temperature for 10 minutes.
- Add your diluted Rennet and stir for one minute. Cover and let sit while maintaining your temp for one hour.
- Check for a clean break at the end of the hour. If it is not set check every 15 minutes until it is.
- Cut the curds into ½” cubes and stir gently for one minute. Now let the curds rest and settle for five minutes.
- With a sterilized measuring cup drain off one-third of the whey from the pot.
- After you have drained off the whey slowly add your heated water until you bring the curds up to 92°F. For a two gallon batch this will be less than 3 cups. Stir while adding the water to keep the curds from matting.
- Now let your curds rest for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally
- Drain off the whey to the level of the curds and add your heated water to bring up the temp to 100°F. Stir as you bring the temp up.
- Maintain the target temperature for fifteen minutes, stirring to prevent matting. Let the curds sit in the pot for thirty minutes at 100°F (also called pitching your curds)
- Strain off the whey using a cheesecloth and colander. Then pour the curds back into the pot, and mill into 1/4″ pieces. Blend in the salt as you mill the curds.
- Pack your curds into a 2 lb lined mold. I have noticed as I get better at this that I usually have more curds than I fit into the mold. You can take the extra and put into a handkerchief and hang to drain. It will give you a little bit of fresh cheese to eat during the week.
- Cover the curds with one corner of the cheese cloth, and apply the follower, and press at 20 lbs for twenty minutes.
- Remove cheese from press, and gently unwrap. Turn cheese over, rewrap, and press at 20 lbs for twenty hours. Repeat by turning over again and press at 20 lbs for twelve hours.
Cheese Soak and Aging: Since this is a Spanish cheese recipe I found a bottle of Spanish wine. A bottle of Garnacha made by Marques De Montanana. A dark red wine that I have never tried. Always good to try something new. I am not much of a wine drinker so the subtleties of different reds are lost on me. I just like to make wine and give it away to the people who do enjoy them
- Remove cheese from the press and mold, then submerge the cheese in a sterilized food grade plastic container in the red wine for 24 hours. Make sure that the cheese is completely covered and flip end-over-end at the 12 hour mark. You can also put the cheese into a gallon bag and add the wine to the bag, then seal it. This will allow you to use less wine and get the same effect.
- After the first 24 hours remove the cheese, and lay it on a cheese mat (or sushi mats) for about six hours, or until it is dry to the touch. Repeat the wine bath for another 24 hours, topping up with additional wine if necessary, flip again at the 12 hour mark. Remove, and dry on mats until touch.
- Now air dry for 3-5 days then age for 3-4 weeks in your cheese fridge. For a stronger flavor wax and then age for and additional 3 months. Flip the cheese daily for the first 3 weeks then weekly for the remainder of the time.
Updates: Just to see how it works I am putting the wine and cheese into a large vacuum container and sucking out all the air. Hopefully this will open up the pores in the outer edge of the cheese and allow for the wine to penetrate deeper into the cheese.
notes: Vacuum saving the cheese was not the best of ideas. Made cracks over a good section of it. Hopefully they will close back up and not cause any issues as it ripens up.
Cheese after the first 24 hour soak. you can see where the cracks formed in the top from the vacuum sealing.