Make Your Own Goat Cheese for Goat Cheese, Sausage and Mushroom Wellington
Make Your Own Goat Cheese for Goat Cheese, Sausage and Mushroom Wellington
My daughter Emily owns shares in the milk from a goat herd in a community about an hour outside of Denver in Elizabeth, CO. I knew she had been making goat cheese but I honestly did not know about this arrangement until recently. Maybe because the effort to drive there had fallen by the wayside a bit and it had been several months since she had picked up her monthly allotment which amounts to about 2 gallons per month. A call from the owners of the herd, a drive to Elizabeth and while not frantic, certainly a plea for help. She had picked up almost 10 gallons of milk packaged and frozen in half gallon ziploc bags. Next thing you know I had half of them in my fridge and a burning need to make something from the windfall.
Em had a book on home cheese making called, well, ‘Home Cheese Making’ by Ricki Carroll. I decided one morning to dig into the process and what I found was actually pretty amazing. Easy? So beyond easy…at least for my first effort which was to make plain old Chevre. Which is the word goat in French…go figure! All that is required is the milk and a packet of Direct Set Chevre Starter and some basic utensils…a pot, a thermometer and a large spoon. Really, that’s it.
The first step was the hardest. Heat the milk to 86 degrees. Why hard? Do you have any idea how quickly something gets to 86 degrees on your stove? I sure did not and I spent more time cooling it down than warming it up…but I finally got there and once it was 86, a packet of Chevre starter is mixed into the milk and it then sits out overnight, covered. I found it easiest to do early in the morning, cover it and take care of step two that evening. I bought my starter locally at a place that is typically known for brewing beer but if you don’t have a local resource there are a ton of online places where it can be purchased. See how the curds (solids) and whey (liquid) have separated by morning?
Step Two: Drain the cheese curds from the whey with a slotted spoon and put it into some butter muslin (heavier duty than the hardware stuff) or in my case, this nifty reusable bag I bought from the beer guys. Hang it to drip/dry for up to twelve hours (recommended); I MacGyvered mine by looping the top of the bag through the handle of my microwave, tying a knot and then securing it further with some wire. Just anything to get it above the pot where it can drain. I had to press some additional liquid out in the morning that had settled a bit on the top of the curds but for the most part it was ready to go.
I wanted a smooth consistency so I put mine into my blender. Add a touch of salt to taste for starters and then have fun with it. Dry herbs are best if you want to season it and if you let it drain enough you can roll it into logs and roll them in your choice of toppings. Herbs, nuts, whatever! I left mine plain and gave some to friends and still had enough to make both a Goat Cheese Wellington and a companion pizza as well. It was so good. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to buy goat cheese again; this was super delish!
This was almost too easy…just had to brown some sausage and onions, saute some mushrooms and combine it all together with dollops of goat cheese which were all wrapped in a sheet of puff pastry.
After it’s wrapped, just crimp it closed and brush with some egg and bake. I love puff pastry! I only had one sheet though so I made a pizza too; pretty much exactly the same but on a pizza crust. Either way. Both ways. To die for!
See all of that yummy goodness? The fresh thyme didn’t hurt…I’m still getting some from my garden!
I did top the pizza with more cheese…pizza without Parmesan is just not right!
Of course making your own goat cheese is not a requirement if you want either the Wellington or the pizza so certainly don’t miss it for that reason. If you don’t love goat cheese, then substitute mozzarella in either dish. Next week I’ll be making cajeta (goat milk caramel), it’s a luscious caramel like Dulce de Lece but made with goat milk…so delicious!
Chevre (Goat Cheese)
- 1 gallon whole goat's milk we had unpasteurized but you can also find pasteurized. Using raw unpasteurized milk is only recommended if you know your source and the practices of that source to insure clean, pure milk
- 1 packet direct set Chevre starter
- Heat the milk to 86 degrees F. Add the starter, stirring to combine.
- Cover and let set at room temperature not below 72 degrees fort 12 hours.
- Line a colander with butter muslin or a bag that can be used for draining the whey and scoop all of the solids into the fabric.
- Tie up the ends and hang over a container and allow to drain for 6-12 hours or until curds reach desired consistency. (A shorter time will produce more of a cheese spread and a longer time something more like a softened cream cheese...which is what I went for.)
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
First you get a goat…. Oh never mind.
Well, we sort of had to do that…Colorado won’t allow the sale of raw goat milk so my daughter had to buy shares in a goat herd in order to get her share of the milk!
An excellent tutorial that has been safely tucked away somewhere safe (so that I can find it again) for when we get a milking goat. Cheers for sharing with us 🙂
Thanks so much for all the great tips! Just starting to try cheese with our goats milk… Will be back soon to study more!
I almost licked my computer screen, but was able to catch myself in time before actually doing it…phew! You had me mesmerized with that first picture and the words goat and cheese. YES PLEASE.
So easy…I mean beyond easy. Kicking myself I didn’t know this years ago! Hope you try it.
Okay that’s it, I need to make my own goat cheese. I make yogurt and kefir so the next step is cheese making!
Once you do you might smack yourself up the head and comment much like I did Sylvie, ‘Why the heck haven’t I tried this before.’ Easy beyond belief and so good…you already that reward of making your own; this will hit that spot too!
This is the yummiest looking thing I’ve seen all day!! Wowzers!
Holy cow yourself. 🙂
But it is super delish…promise!
How innovative and what great recipes! The wellington is making me drool! Been planning to try my hand at making chevre and this gives me the courage!
You must try it Susan. It’s almost embarrassingly easy. Finding the milk is seriously the most difficult part.
Your daughter has shares in a what??!! Amazing! And oooh I always admire anyone who makes their own cheese and I thank you for showing us how (and how easy it is… now where is my chevre starter?) I may never make my own (I live in the land of Chevre, after all) but the pizza? And the turnover? Oh yeah! This recent batch of puff pastry I made had son (the one who has no sweet tooth so ate no sweet galette) actually asked if I would make a puff pastry goat cheese turnover! Yay!
You read that right! The milk from a herb. You can’t sell unpasteurized goat milk but you can use your own. This is how it becomes that; you buy shares. I’m going next time to see the operation and the goats. Wanna come with? 🙂
How wonderful to have such fresh cheese! This pizza looks amazing.
I hope you don’t mind if I put a plug in for Ricki Carroll and her business, New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, http://www.cheesemaking.com/ I buy all of my cheesemaking supplies from this company and I even started making cheese well before I started working at American Cheese Society. Sorry about the plug…but it is a great source for starter, rennet, etc.
I too have MacGyvered the draining….and sometimes have had failure like a big splat on the counter. I never thought you hang it from the microwave,
Oh, the recipe for the Wellington…my mouth was watering as I read the recipe. I may have to make it this week, I already have the ingredients in my fridge.
Not at all Jane; actually I’ll put that link in the post; meant to find one and time slipped away from me. I know you’ve made cheese…we should have a mozzarella party soon; Karen and I want to make it.
Let’s plan on a cheese making party soon. Homemade mozzarella is phenomenal.
I want in on Mozzarella party. If you ask for a qualifier – I also made the goat cheese – Barb was generous with the goat milk and the starter. Now I am thinking how to convince husband that a goat milk share is not a want, it is a need – a basic one!
OK, let’s plan the mozzarella event. You, me, Jane and Karen so far. AND…Em’s fine if you want to share her shares; turned out it’s more than she needs which is about 2 gallons a month; divided between the three of us it might be just right!
Let’s…sounds like you, Karen, Ansh and I would make a crew.
Oh yum, that pizza looks so good and of course I haven’t had lunch yet, so now I’m dying for pizza. I love the MacGyvered cheese draining system, pure genius.
Thanks Micha…and I so know that feeling when I hit food blogs before breakfast; it’s a killer.
I like everything on that list of ingredients. Goat cheese is always a treat for me.
I’ll save some for you from the next batch; promise.
The joys of being a nearby friend of yours never end! Thanks for sharing this goat cheese with me. I used it in a roasted red pepper soup which was definitely not my ordinary soup with the addition of your cheese. I am impressed as always! And speaking of impressed…the way you tied your muslin bag on the microwave handle is genius. I am using that brilliant idea next time I make jelly!
I was desperate; out of desperation came that brilliance! 🙂 So glad you liked it too Holly, love sharing with you.
Jealous! I’d like to live near Barb, too.
I have never made cheese, if only I could put aside the time this year! Barb you are an inspiration, great photos as always 🙂
This was so easy…really can hardly say it took any time at all; 12 hours in the pot and another hanging and I bet my involvement altogether was 15 minutes…can’t beat that huh?
Sounds great! How much goat cheese did you use in the baking? It looks so good. But how much cheese did 5 gallons make? sounds like a fun project! Thanks.
I have either got to finish posts before midnight or wait til the AM to hit publish so I stop making stupid errors like forgetting HOW MUCH of the cheese to use, huh? First, I just used a gallon, so the end result was about a pound and a half of cheese and then for the pizza and Wellington, I used about a cup on each of them…certainly that part can be to taste…more or less depending on what YOU want. I used another 3.5 gallons to make the cajeta (caramel) but it cooks all day and results in about 8 jars. I still have some; thinking more cheese is in order!
I have to find me a goat! I haven’t made cheese, and plan to work on that this year. It’d be sensational in that terrific pizza/Wellington! (Really nice recipe.) BTW, in case you didn’t see my response to your comment on my butter post, I lived in Florissant in the 60s, and lived in Glendale for a bit (although I left St. Louis decades ago, and only returned a few years ago). So our paths may have crossed at some point! Anyway, super post – thanks.
Small world; I was there in the 60’s; didn’t move until closer to 1980. McCluer High School even!
I now have a new mission… Find goat’s milk!! I will be hitting Google today to begin the hunt because goat cheese is my very favorite cheese and I’d love to make my own. Not only that, I absolutely must make that wellington. This recipe sounds beyond amazing! I fully intend to make it very soon.
It was easy and fun and the result was OH SO GOOD! I’ll make the Wellington again (or pizza) even if I have to use mozzarella…we absolutely loved it.
This looks delicious! Makes me wish I had access to fresh goat milk. 🙂
That is the only hard part of the process…you never know, might be worth some searching to see if there is a herd near you.
This is something I’ve wanted to try for the longest time. I have an old book titled “Better Than Store Bought” that gives recipes for all manner of things, including cheese, that you’d normally purchase at the grocery store. I’m thinking this might be the year to work through that book!
Oh, and the wellington….looks absolutely delicious! Pizza, too 🙂
It’s such fun and as I’ve found with liqueurs, so often really easy. I can’t wait to see what you make Lana.
Looks like you did some quality shopping in Atlanta. What, no Lenox Square?? No Ballards Outlet? Well, at least you did get to dine at Cafe Intermezzo – one of my kid’s favorite places. Did you try out Sublime Doughnuts? They ARE sublime. Hope I get to make it to Haven next year. I am too much of a newbie blogger to have enough confidence for a conference this year. Looks like it was fun!
What a fun post Barb! You know that I am not too fond of chevre but I’m sure any cheese with a creamy texture might work too (I’ve always wanted to try making mozzarella). This looks really good.
I think it would be great with Mozzarella; my next cheese adventure!