Thursday, October 26, 2017

Baked Vacherin Mont d'Or

Vacherin Mont d'Or is a French washed rind cheese from the Franche-Comte region of France. It is traditionally made from raw (unpasteurized) milk. It is typically made in the autumn/winter months when there is not enough milk to make Comte. It goes on sale in September each year.

The cheese itself is made in rounds of 400gm (14 oz) which are in spruce boxes. Often hard to get in the USA - you have to have an outstanding cheese monger (like the amazing Scardello in Dallas)

A way of serving it is to bake it with some of the local wine (Macvin) and a few slices of garlic. Macvin is a bizarre almost wine. It is a mixture of barely fermented grape juice and marc (a liqueur made from the left over skins, seeds and stalks resulting from pressing the grape juice).

The Macvin that we used is a Chateau D'Arlay - typically sold in 1/2 bottles. We also made a variant of a Vacherin Mont D'Or using a Jasper Hills Farms Winnimere cooked the same way. 


1 400g Vacherin Mont D'Or 
2 garlic cloves, sliced very thinly
3 T Macvin


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Remove the lid from the cheese, leaving the cheese itself in the box. Lay the box on a sheet of aluminium foil. Fold the foil tightly up the sides of the cheese box. This makes sure that the box does not come unglued.
Create slits in the cheese in various places with the point of a paring knife. Go as deep as the cheese, but take care you don't go through the bottom of the box. You want about 16 slits overall evenly spaced. I do them in concentric circles, with the outer circle starting about 1/2" from the outer edge. 
Insert a garlic sliver into each slit, pushing down until the top edge of the garlic sliver is below the top of the cheese.
Once you have filled each slit, pour the wine over the top surface of the cheese, allowing it to top off the slits.
Place the cheese on a baking sheet and put into the pre-heated oven on the middle shelf. 
Bake for around 20 minutes (check at 16) until the top is bubbly and the inside gooey.

To Serve

There are a couple of ways to serve this. My favourite is to serve with some charcuterie and awesome baguettes. But it is also served as a main course with a salad and boiled potatoes. The gooeyness of the cheese coats the potatoes making a sublime pairing. To drink, serve the remaining Macvin (remember it comes in 1/2 bottles so you will need more than one) .

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