This past weekend we lent a hand (literally) to friends Brian & Christine, by agreeing to milk one of their goats while the couple took a day off to head out of town for their anniversary. Nina, one of a dozen or so goats Christine has, had lost her kid and needed to be milked three times while the two still-kind-of-newlyweds were away. We got a little more than a half-gallon total from Nina.
While goat milk tastes great all by itself I instead decided to make a little goat cheese from what we had. This particular recipe for goat cheese couldn't be any easier or quicker. I think, all-told, it didn't take more than an hour, and I dawdled at that. The simple recipe also lends itself to a lot of flexibility in the final product, depending on what you choose to add to the finished cheese. I chose to make a savory goat cheese, by adding the herbs thyme, summer savory and a little rosemary, along with garlic. But you could just as easily make a sweet or fruity cheese by adding things such as blueberries, honey, or figs.
- 2 quarts goat milk
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- sea salt
- fresh herbs (thyme, summer savory, rosemary) or berries, honey, etc.
- garlic clove finely diced
- large bowl
- deep sauce pan
- wooden spoon and/or spatula
- sieve (I used a cocktail strainer)
- Heat milk in sauce pan to 180°, stirring constantly.
- Once you hit 180° drizzle the lemon juice into the milk and gently stir to mix.
- Let milk/lemon juice sit until small curds form, which should be almost immediate (maybe 10 seconds or so).
- Set a double layer of cheese cloth into a deep bowl and ladle, with a small strainer, the curds into the cheesecloth.
- Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together and tie them (2 loose knots, from opposing corners) but leave enough room or play under the knots to get a wooden spoon through. The cheesecloth bag will hang from the wooden spoon over the bowl, allowing the curds to drain the whey into the bowl. this shouldn't take long; maybe 5 or 10 minutes.
- Remove the drained cheese from the cloth and add the herbs, garlic and sea salt to taste. Mix everything together well.
- Press the cheese into a mold (I just used a small bowl), and that's that.
You can eat it right away...make some bruschetta, for example...or wrap it and store it in the fridge for a week or so. I like to let it sit in the fridge for at least a day to let the cheese, herbs and garlic get to know one another a little better. I tell you, this is so easy and so tasty that my desire to get a couple goats is getting more serious with every bite.