Ossetian cheese is a traditional fermented milk product of the Republic of Ossetia. This kind of cheese is very popular and loved in the Caucasus region. Highlanders from ancient times used Ossetian cheese as the basis for many dishes.
The cheese has a pronounced aroma and unsurpassed taste (a slightly salty taste), a whole range of useful qualities and a peculiar look - curd consistency.
The history of Ossetian cheese dates back to ancient times, when the Alans, mainly cattle breeders, used it as one of the main components of their food.
Ossetian cheese with its characteristic taste is close to feta, cheese of Greek origin. Ossetians initially used sheep, goat or cow milk to make cheese.
Today, most people make it using cow's milk. To get a dairy product, dry and salted cow or sheep abomasum are used. Ossetians have a lot of dry abomasum, because traditionally they kill sheep for every holiday (Kuvd), wedding, as well as funerals and commemoration. To make cheese, they put a piece of rennet in a cup (0.5 liter) with whey. It takes several days to get the finished rennet mix.
Ossetian cheese can be used both fresh (as a cheese product), and for the manufacture of famous Ossetian pies. To keep it longer without refrigerators, Ossetians put it in the brine several times until the brine dries and the salt soaks all the cheese. With this salting technique, the shelf life of cheese is increased to two years.
Ossetian cheese recipe
To make Ossetian cheese at home, you need to take eight liters of fresh milk (not fat-free), one hundred and fifty grams of kefir, one hundred grams of whey solution. How to cook Ossetian cheese? Milk must be poured into a metal container and put on fire. You need to heat the milk to thirty degrees. Remove from heat and add kefir.
It is important to mix everything until homogeneous so that the fermented milk product is distributed as evenly as possible across the milk. Leave the milk mixture for two hours - during this time the process of ripening of the cheese takes place. Prepare the abomasum (serum solution). Slowly pour the rennet into milk, constantly stirring with a whisk. Stir for at least five minutes. Let the milk stand for 3-5 hours until a solid cottage cheese appears, and when cutting the cottage cheese, you can get a clean break. Gently mix the curd leaving large slices. Give the cheese for thirty minutes to infuse periodically stirring.
Ossetians carefully and slowly collect with their hands pieces of cottage cheese at the bottom of the pan (a bucket can also be used), and then they take cheese from whey. For the first few days, they hold it in a 10-12 "cup once a day, pouring in accumulating serum.
Greeks make cheese using the same technology, only the last action is different. Using cheesecloth, the whey will separate from the cottage cheese, tie the cheesecloth with a bag and hang for five hours to completely run off the whey. Transfer the curd into a rectangular shape, and put it under oppression for at least one day.
Ossetian cheese can be used fresh for traditional pies, as well as a salty and original snack. To preserve the cheese for a longer time, while maintaining its taste and quality, Ossetians prepared a little brine (Khanda) in a special barrel (Migana). They put in a barrel about 30-50 pieces of cheese.
An ordinary raw egg was used to determine the desired brine consistency. When the egg floats freely on the surface of the brine, then salt is enough.
In Ossetia there are traditional pies, for the filling of which they use Ossetian cheese. There are many recipes for making Ossetian pie, the recipes for the most popular are given below.
Useful properties and calorie content
This dairy product is able to saturate the body with a whole group of vitamins such as E, C, B12, B9, B6, B2, B1, PP, A. In addition, Ossetian cheese is rich in minerals, including:
This product is recommended for use by people with hard work, which involves strong mental and physical stress, as well as adolescents, children, women during pregnancy and lactation.
Ossetian cheese has a high calorie content, therefore, wanting to lose weight, you need to use it carefully and preferably in the morning.
|Calorie content||356 kcal|
|Squirrels||Twenty six grams|
|Fat||Twenty six and a half grams|
|Carbohydrates||Three and a half grams|
Ossetian traditional pie
We will need anhi jan, this is a mixture that you can make yourself. Also flour, butter, milk, salt and water. To make a cup of anhi jana, mix one teaspoon of flour, one teaspoon of yeast, one teaspoon of sugar and 3/4 cup of warm water.
Use it after about ten minutes. About six cups of white whole grain flour is enough to make three balls the size of an average grapefruit. Add salt. Pour anhi jan into a large bowl of flour. Add warm water or 1/2 cup milk, start kneading the dough. Important: mix by hand.
When it stops sticking to your hands, you have added sufficient consistency. Optionally add an egg for satiety. You can add one hundred grams of milk to the dough. The dough is ready. If you add 30 g of vegetable oil, it will not be so sticky. Now cover the dough with a towel and let it rise (2-3 hours). It's time to prepare the stuffing.
This time we’ll make tsakharajyn - an Ossetian pie with cheese and beets. We can also use dill, parsley and onions, although some Ossetians make tsakharajin without them. Cut the beet leaves into very small pieces. Do the same with other ingredients. The dough has risen. It is time to form an Ossetian pie with cheese and herbs.
Put the dough on a wooden board with flour. Divide the dough into three even balls. Now we can salt the filling. This is not recommended before. Add 0.5-0.7 kg of fresh Ossetian cheese. If the filling is too wet, you can add flour. The filling is ready. Preheat the oven. Roll out the dough with your hands. Place a little filling in the center. Connect the edges in the center. Roll the cake so that the filling shines through it.
Transfer to a baking tray. Bake the cake until the top is toasted, but do not overdo. After removing the cake from the oven, use a stick of butter to make the top and sides soft.
Ossetian pie with potatoes and cheese
To make an Ossetian pie with potatoes and cheese you will need: 7-9 potato Rosset (depending on size), cut into pieces; 2 cups ground suluguni or mozzarella; 2 cups of Ossetian cheese or Greek feta, grated; milk; salt; whole or bread flour; melted butter.
The first thing to do is put the potatoes to boil. While preparing potatoes, you need to grind all the other ingredients, for this we use a grater. First mozzarella, then feta. All pieces of cheese should be small so that they do not tear the dough when baked. The potatoes are boiled, drain the excess water, and turn it into mashed potatoes.
Let the puree cool slightly and only then add cheese to it (so that the cheese does not instantly dissolve). To adjust the consistency, you can use milk. Spices are added to taste. Previously prepared dough according to the standard recipe should already increase several times. Divide the dough into even pieces and form pies, in the filling of which we put the potato-cheese filling. Bake the cake in a preheated oven until golden brown.
Ossetian cheese pies calorie content depends on the chosen filling. Here, for example, the calorie content of the Ossetian cheese and spinach pie is one hundred eighty-three kilocalories per hundred grams of product, and the meat pie is one hundred and seventy-three kilocalories. The average calorie value of pies with Ossetian cheese per one hundred grams of product is one hundred eighty-two kilocalories.
Do not deny yourself such a delicious and incredibly useful sour-milk product - like Ossetian cheese, all the more so because it is so easy to cook at home.