I love Goats. They are far superior to sheep. More character, a little like their cheese. I became aware of this love affair in Laos…..it’s a long story.
‘Eat Weeds’ (http://www.eatweeds.co.uk/) inspired me here. It’s a great little website all about living from the land and getting out for the odd forage. All you need to know about wild eating. They regularly send me emails and this recipe reminded me of how easy this cheese is to knock-up.
The first time I made Goats Cheese was when I volunteered to help on a farm in Central Laos. It proved to be very simple and deliciously creamy. This method is almost as good, without the super fresh, still warm milk of the farm.
We would milk, feed and clean the goats out before dawn, with the afternoons free to spend under the blazing sun, hacking down banana trees for feed. After around five hours hard graft, between three of us, we normally produced only four small blocks. This experience really developed my appreciation of cheese!
The blocks were normally whisked off to the farm restaurant to be served to bus loads of tourists. Sometimes we did manage to sneak a chunk ourselves and with a fresh baguette (which are amazing in Laos), it made all of the shovelling shit worth while!
For this recipe, if you can get your hands on wild garlic, lucky you. Otherwise use bulbs. Goats milk is fairly easy to come by in the shops.
If you like eating weeds, subscribe and get the Classic Wild Food Collection. It is free and packed with info on what to do with weeds and plants (and how you can eat them).
1 pint of raw goat’s milk, ½ lemon (juiced) or 2 caps of cider vinegar, 25g ramsons/wild garlic (finely chopped)***, sea salt
***An alternative to wild garlic would be one clove of minced garlic and a handful of roughly chopped parsley.
Pour goat’s milk into a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from heat immediately.
Add lemon juice a little at a time until the curds separate from the whey. Curdling. It will begin to resemble very off milk.
Pour the pan of curds and whey through a fine muslin cloth, making sure that you collect the whey. Leave to drip for a few hours. You can refrigerate the whey for a couple of weeks, and use it in your sauerkraut recipes, in soups, stocks or as a refreshing drink. Whey is super full of minerals, and an excellent digestive.
Next tip cheese into a bowl and add the finely chopped ramsons and few pinches of sea salt, then stir until the ramsons and salt are thoroughly worked into the cheese. Taste saltiness and adjust accordingly.
Put the cheese back into the muslin and twist into a ball. Put on a slanted board with a big weight on top (always a bit of a balancing act), and leave for a couple of hours. The salt draws more moisture out of the cheese making it firmer.
If you can resist eating it, this cheese will age nicely.
Whey is a super-dooper food. It’s packed full of protein, meaning that people who would like to be one big lump of muscle (mass) take it as a high cost supplement. It’s free with this cheese. The proteins in whey can be used easily by the body.
Whey is very low in calories and full of anti-oxidants that boost the immune system.