Need feedback on an idea
Posted: 17 November 2016 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve been thinking about what would be good as an additive to, say, a Colby cheese.  It seems to me that one of the most common things people know of is ham and cheese - as in sandwiches or omelets.  Can anyone see any difficulties using diced ham as an additive?  Of course it would have to be sterilized first; but I was thinking that it would make a fantastic cheese.  I can see it on a cheese plate for the holidays.  What do y’all think?

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Posted: 28 November 2016 06:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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So, no feedback, huh?  Well, I decided to go ahead and make it.

I realized that the biggest problem was going to be possible spoilage of meat.  So I took some special precautions.  I diced the ham into 1/4” cubes.  I normally add 3 Tbls salt in a 4 gallon batch.  This time I put the salt onto the diced ham and let it soak for at least an hour before adding to the curd.  Following the final press I tasted the cheese and found it to be a bit on the bland side - not enough salt.  Apparently the salt soaked into the ham and not enough went into the curd.  I corrected this by brining the wheel for 4 hours.  I’ve noticed that brined cheeses don’t need al much drying time as non-brined cheeses; and this was no exception.  It only took 42 hours for it to be sufficiently dried.  Then I gave it a liberal dry salt rub and vacuum sealed the finished product.

I’m pretty excited about this one.  The only problem I now foresee is slicing. I cut the wheel in half so it would fit into my vacuum bags; and the ham cubes seem to disrupt a nice, smooth cut.  But this cheese has to potential of being a superb cheese n’ cracker topper.  Too bad it won’t be ready for Christmas.

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