Yes, this recipe can be made with chicken eggs and whole cow's milk. However, if you have access to duck eggs and sheep milk, treat yourself! The results will be spectacular. I don't even like custard but I was craving something sweet and these were the ingredients I had on hand. I will now be making this regularly.
3 duck eggs (or 4 chicken eggs)
2 cups whole sheep milk
1/3-1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
nutmeg (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 325
Pour the milk into a saucepan and scald. You want to slowly heat the milk until it is almost boiling, but turn the heat off just shy of boiling.
While you wait for the milk to scald, fill your teakettle with water and bring to a boil and then turn off.
In a separate bowl, whisk together duck eggs, sugar (we've left a little room for personal preference), salt, and vanilla.
Slowly pour the scalded milk into the egg mixture while stirring so as not to cook the eggs. This will prevent you from having a lumpy mixture that you will then have to strain.
Pour custard cups half full with the mixture and place in a baking dish (we do not have custard cups so I used small glass Tupperware dishes) and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Pour the hot water from the kettle into the baking dish so that it is about half way up the sides of the cups. This hot water bath will help your custard to heat evenly.
Bake for 35-45 minutes. Ours usually take 35 minutes. They are done when you can touch the surface of the custard and it isn't liquid anymore. It should, however, still have some jiggle to it.
Custard is delicious both warm and cold. We suggest you try it both ways... if you can wait long enough for it to chill in the refrigerator that is!
This coffee creamer is ridiculously easy to make, and insanely delicious. There is nothing more to say.
1 qt sheep milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pour milk into a medium size pot. You want to make sure there is head space at the top of the pot, because the milk can bubble up some.
Stir in sugar and baking soda. (The baking soda is a must! It reduces the amount that the milk will bubble up while cooking)
Turn burner on lowest possible setting . We have a "low" burner and that works perfectly.
Stir every 30 minutes or so. The milk will start to darken (caramelize) and thicken.
The creamer is done when it has approximately reduced to half its original volume.
Pour into a jar or jars and refrigerate.
This recipe can also be made with goat's milk, but may be tricky with cow's milk as it will bubble up significantly more while cooking.
Beginner's Sheep CheeseRead Now
This cheese is quick, easy, can be made with ingredients you most likely already have, and most importantly, oh so delicious. This is a soft, spreadable cheese and one of our family's favorites. There is so much you can do with it flavor wise. It is delicious plain, but we have done a lot of experimenting and tried everything from adding garlic powder, to chopped herbs (chive and dill is a favorite), to a dollop of jam.
You will need to make sure you have a few materials before diving into this recipe, so be sure to check out the list below.
- 2 or 3 layers of cheese cloth (occasionally we will just use a clean tea towel or 2)
- med to large pot
- thermometer (most thermometers will work as long as you can get a fairly accurate read, but we have this one and it is wonderful for yogurt and cheese making)
1 quart sheep milk
2T lemon juice
1T white vinegar
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
Pour milk into pot and heat on low until milk reaches 175-180F
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and vinegar until incorporated (you will start to see the separation of curds and whey)
Let sit for 10 min
While you wait, line a colander (or if you don't have one, a large bowl) with at least two layers of cheesecloth and place in the sink (or inside a bowl if you would like to save the whey! We feed it to the pigs, but some people like to use it for bread making.)
After 10 minutes, pour the curds and whey into the cheesecloth and tie. If you have never tied cheesecloth before, here is a great tutorial.
Hang cheesecloth in your desired location (the kitchen sink faucet works well) for 1-3 hours. The length of time you let your cheese hang will determine its consistency. a shorter hang time will produce a light, fluffy, high moisture cheese (our favorite!) and a longer hang time will produce a more dense, drier cheese). Keep in mind: if you double or quadruple this recipe, your cheese may need to hang for longer to reach desired consistency.
Take your cheese out of the cheesecloth and place in a bowl. Salt to taste.
Stir in herbs, spices, jam, etc and form into logs or balls.
Optional: roll logs/balls in more chopped herbs for garnish
Sheep's milk YogurtRead Now
We started milking a few of our ewes this year and have been blown away by the quality and flavor of the milk. Lily is lactose intolerant and the sheep's milk has been a great alternative. We have made cheese and yogurt with goat's milk in the past and she found the flavor off-putting ("Mama, this tastes like goat nipples") but the sheep's milk is much more mild. In addition to the mild flavor it is incredibly creamy and higher in almost every nutritional category than goat's or cow's milk. Another advantage is the yield on products like yogurt. With goat's milk we strained the yogurt to make it the thickness we desired and lost about half the volume. This sheep's milk yogurt is as thick as greek yogurt without any straining! Win win win. We make this in an instant pot because it is just so easy and we were fortunate to be given one last year. An alternative method is also provided below.
1quart sheep milk
2T live culture yogurt
Pour the milk into the instant pot, close lid, press "yogurt" and "adjust" until the display reads "boil".
The instant pot will beep when it has finished heating (pasteurizing) the milk and it usually takes up to an hour.
Remove the inner pot and allow it to cool naturally to 110-115F or speed the process in an ice bath. Once the milk has cooled, skim off the "skin" that has likely formed on the surface of the milk.
Stir in 2T of live cultured yogurt (plain is best but any kind with live cultures will work*).
Place the inner pot back into the instant pot, close the lid, and press "yogurt" again. Press "adjust" until the display reads "8:00"
After 8 hours, give your yogurt a stir (or a whisk to get it really smooth) and place in the refrigerator.
Non-Instant pot method (you will need a small cooler):
Heat milk slowly on the stovetop until it reaches 180F. Let cool naturally, or speed up process in an ice bath.
When the milk cools to 110-115F, stir in the 2T of live cultured yogurt.
Place mixture in a clean qt size mason jar and screw the lid on.
Fill cooler with 120F water (the water level should come about half way up the mason jar).
Place jar in cooler, close the lid, and cover with towels or blankets to help insulate it.
Incubate for 8-12 hours, checking the temperature of the water after 8 hours and adding more hot water if the temperature has dipped below 110F.
Once your yogurt has cultured for the desired length, move to the refrigerator.
Enjoy this yogurt plain, or get creative with toppings and mix-ins. Our favorite is a dollop of homemade jam!
*If you are unsure whether or not your store bought yogurt has live cultures, you can check the label. They are usually listed next to the nutrition information.
Hungarian goulashRead Now
This is a modified version of what my family calls "Hungarian goulash" I put it in quotes because it only slightly resembles other examples of the dish but for the sake of tradition and a lack of renaming creativity it is what I am calling it here. My family uses beef but it can really be made with any meat. It is extraordinarily simple but rich and hearty and one of our favorites.
1 small can of tomato paste
1-2lbs stew meat
2-3 onions (chopped)
1T olive oil
1.5c red wine
Preheat the oven to 300F. In a dutch oven heat oil and brown meat and onions. Add salt, tomato paste, and wine and stir to combine. Cover with a tight fitting lid and put in the over for 2-3 hours.
We serve over egg noodles with a big dollop of sour cream.
Lamb meatballsRead Now
Many of the recipes we have posted are meant to be put into the oven during our daily lull, after morning chores and before lunch, but that takes time and forethought which we don't often have. These meatballs are the perfect antidote for our poor planning and we can go from freezer to table in 30-40 minutes. We make them in bulk, flash freeze and vacuum seal them.
1.5lbs ground lamb
1 onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2c fine bread crumbs
1t herbs of your choice
Combine milk and breadcrumbs and let soak while whisking eggs, salt, pepper and herbs (we use Italian seasoning). Add meat to the eggs and mix with your hands. Add garlic, onion and soaked breadcrumbs and mix with hands to combine. Try not to overwork the mixture or your meatballs will be tough. Form them into balls and either cook or freeze them. We freeze ours and cook them at 425F while we boil our pot of water and cook our pasta (probably about 25-30 minutes but who keeps track). Once they start to brown up on the outside they're done.
Braised lamb shanksRead Now
This recipe is for braised lamb shanks, although, we didn't have any lamb shanks so I substituted a neck roast and half a breast of lamb because thats the way we cook around here. I also forgot the garlic. The biggest motivation we have for writing these recipes is to demonstrate to you (whoever you are) that what is most important is high quality meat and cooking it correctly. So the recipe that follows is what I intended to cook. What we did cook was just as good. The meat will fall off the bone and there will be a lot of gravy. We ate it over rice with a dollop of sour cream.
4 lamb shanks
1 14 ounce can tomato puree
1 large onion (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1t coarse salt
2T tomato paste
1.5c red wine
2 bay leaves
2c lamb stock
Preheat the oven to 275F. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper and sear it in a dutch oven, add the onions and cook until browned. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for several minutes before deglazing with red wine. Whisk flour into stock an add to the dutch oven with the remaining herbs. Add tomato puree or whole tomato (we only had some frozen tomatoes from last summer they worked just fine). Place in the oven covered with a tight fitting lid for 4-7 hours and check occasionally (or don't) every few hours to add water or stock if the level of the liquid is low.
Lamb Bone brothRead Now
We do our best to use the whole animal and that includes the pile of bones that is often left after some lambs (or ewes) are butchered. The basics of broth are whats important and what we focus on, the subtleties are for the master chefs or personal preferences. At the time we produced this batch the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing and we are confined largely to our home, so carrots, celery and some other goodies are missing, and in our kitchen that is okay. We used the bones from a lamb that a customer had turned into ground, so there are 7lbs, you don't need 7 lbs.
7 lbs lamb bones
1t coarse salt
3 onions (rough chopped)
1T black pepper corns
10 cloves garlic
3T tomato paste
3-4 bay leaves
(2c white wine would be good but we don't have any)
Preheat the oven to 425F. On a roasting pan spread out the bones, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper over them. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour.
Sauté onions, garlic (carrots and celery if you have them) in olive oil over medium heat until browned. Add tomato paste and cook a few more minutes. Deglaze the pot with white wine if you have it and water if you don't Add roasted bones and cover with water. After bringing the pot to a simmer skim off any foam or debris that comes off the bones. Add the herbs and spices and simmer 4-6 hours.
At this point strain the broth through a sieve or cloth and set it in the fridge or a cool place to allow the fat to rise to the surface. Skim the fat off and package in ball jars or heavy duty ziplocks. You can freeze broth for later use or put it in the fridge to use within a week.
One of our favorite ways to eat lamb in the summer is as these sliders. The ingredients list is a bit longer than most of our meals require but its worth it. We have cooked these on the grill and just in a skillet, both are good but man we love to grill!
1lb ground lamb
2 cloves garlic
2T fresh chopped
1/2 cucumber (seeded and chopped)
1 clove garlic
2t lemon juice
pinch of salt
1c greek yogurt
1T fresh mint (chopped)
1T olive oil
Red onion (sliced thin)
Mini ciabatta rolls
Combine the lamb with all spices and mix thoroughly before forming 4-6 patties. This can be done just before cooking, a day in advance or we are often working with fresh ground and will mix a large batch and freezer it for later use. Once patties are formed they can be grilled or pan fried to desired doneness.
To make the tzatziki, start by seeding and finely chopping the cucumber. Mash garlic, salt and lemon juice in a bowl before adding the remaining ingredients. Let it sit in fridge for several hours or overnight.
Assemble sliders on the ciabatta rolls with some crumbled feta, a slice of red onion and a dollop of tzatziki.
The lamb shoulder roast is one of my favorite cuts. It is full of flavor and potential which all can be unlocked with a low and slow cook. This is a cut that in my opinion has to be slow cooked, there are too many different thicknesses and bones to be able to cook it evenly otherwise and you would risk really over cooking and drying out certain parts while undercooking others. We love slow roasting meat, it fills the house with the most delicious aroma and the timing isn't fussy so it will be finished whenever you're ready to eat.
1 lamb shoulder roast (any roast or shanks will work)
6-7 cloves of garlic cut into slivers
3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1t coarse salt
1T olive oil
1/2c red wine
1-2 onions (rough chopped)
3-4 potatoes (halved or quartered)
Preheat the oven to 275F. Using a paring knife cut straight down into the shoulder about an inch deep every inch or so. In each slit stuff a sliver of garlic and a few rosemary leaves. Sprinkle the salt and olive oil over the top and place on a bed of potatoes, onions, or both. Add the wine and water to the pot, cover with a tightly fitted lid, and cook for 5-8 hours.
We are not professional chefs, by any stretch, but we make food we love and love to eat. The recipes are simple, inexact and easily modified.