Montasio is a cheese that has been around since the 13th century. It was traditionally made by monks living in the Moggio abbey, located at the top of the Carnic Alps. My recipe comes from Kent Walker Cheese in Little Rock, AR. I first made this recipe more than a year ago, when I was a real newbie and had a hard time making a decent cheese. Today’s make came out perfectly, at least from the first reviews. Lets take a look at the recipe.
2:1 Thermo/Meso Culture
3 Gallon non-homogenized, 1 Gallon grocery store Cow Milk
1/16 tsp per gallon Mesophilic type II = 3/16 tsp
1/16 tsp per gallon TA61 Thermophilic = 3/16 tsp
1 tsp Rennet
3 tsp minced store bought garlic
- Heat milk to 70° add culture
- Let culture set for 2-5 mins before mixing, mix in up and down motion, don’t stir.
- Continue heating – Heat to 88° should take 30-45 minutes.
- Add rennet 1 tsp for the 3 gallons
- Let rest for 60-75 mins, with 1 gallon of grocery milk we waited 75 mins.
- Cut curd to 1/4″
- Heat to 102° stir for an hour, heating took a little over 30 mins and stirred for 30 minutes more
- Heat a pot of distilled water to 140°
- Drain off 1/3 of the whey
- Scald curd to 110° by adding heated water
- Stir for 10 additional mins at 110°
- Drain off most of the whey, its ok if there is a little left in the pot
- Mix in the garlic breaking up the curds as you go to get a good mix
- This will cause additional whey to be expelled, drain it off
- Press curds into a mold
- Press over night. If 8 lbs wheel press at 65lbs
- Start with 8-10 lbs for first half hour
- Double the weight for next hour, flip
- We got up to 42 lbs. and left overnight
- Soak in brine for 12-24 hours
- We went for 15-16, it was a long day
- Age 2-36 months
- Coat in olive oil as needed to prevent mold
Update: Oct 1,2016 – I cut the wheel in half and Vacuum Sealed after testing it. The cheese had very little flavor but a great texture and creaminess to it. It might need more garlic next time or it might just need time. We will see.