It's a horrible rainy day here in Harrogate so, to cheer myself up, I decided it was time to cut open my first Lancashire. I also wanted to try my new vacuum sealer (Andrew James reduced from £99.95 to £39.99 with 4.5/5 review on Amazon - an early Xmas present from my wife) and my home made cheese wire cutter (two bits of wood and a couple of feet of picture wire that I found in a drawer this morning!).
I made the cheese with 4gallons of whole milk (UK galls so 17 litres) on 28th September so just four weeks old. I followed Jeff Hamms recipe that I found on the forum - but I didn't have buttermilk so used a generic meso starter culture that I had frozen into cubes.
It was a really nice cheese to make and was no trouble to get to this stage. Regular brine wash and A little white powdery coating developed as you can see from the pix, and the occasional spots of something else that I wiped off with brine.
Firstly the cheese wire was a failure. I thought it would slice through straight and easily with no mess but, even though the picture wire was less than a millimetre thick, it was a struggle, it was difficult to cut in a straight line, and it didn't give a clean cut as you can see. I tidied it up with a knife so I could get a better picture of the paste.
It was very nice. I thought it would be very mild and tasteless at this stage but it actually tasted like a Lancashire. Slightly acidic, slightly salty, very tasty. It was a little 'claggy', not dry and crumbly as I'd hoped for but maybe that will come with a little more ageing? Very thin rind which is very edible (though the rind is usually a treat for the dogs). We ate the slice that you can see I took off to tidy it for lunch with toast, mmmm, and then I got to test the vacuum sealer.
It worked extremely well. Very easy, put the cheese in the bag, put the bag opening in the machine and press the button and wait about 30 seconds. Certainly took all the air out and I'll leave the cheese there, back in the cave, for another few weeks and see how it's progressed.
Delighted with it so far, thanks for the Recipe Jeff!