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Masterchef All Stars – The Beef Wellington Pressure Test

The positive aspect of the pressure test episode was the viewer got to see all of the contestant’s Beef Wellingtons, however the negative side was the judging was so drawn out.

The judging scenes went like this chat to All Star, forensically examine outside of dish, cut Wellington, forensic analysis of said piece, cut up into bite size pieces, watch judges eat, then listen to their opinion.

Tonight the nine Masterchef All Stars had to cook Gary Mehigan’s Beef Wellington with the contestants who have cooked the two worst dishes going home. Dani, Kate and Justine were safe as they had beaten their chef’s in the challenge the night before.

Jonathan had made the dish before in the 2010 and this appear to have helped. Gary’s signature part of the dish appears to be the crepe and the prosciutto as you don’t see that in the one that Gordon gets his charges to make in Hell’s Kitchen.

To be fair the amateurs here are better than the line cooks, and burger flippers they tend to get on Hell’s Kitchen.

I note Gary also doesn’t mind ready made stock in his red wine sauce, but I suspect that only goes for sponsored stock. It truly was appalling that he bawled Matt the 19 year old about using stock found in the pantry early in Season Four this year.

Chris Badenoch was happy that it was meat and not something that involved flour and sugar. However his twist of adding too much port into his Red Wine Jus may have put him at risk if the judging had been tight.

The three contestants that were struggling were Kumar, Aaron and Poh. Aaron thought he was at a BBQ as he flambed the expensive fillet of beef, and he also could not work out how to get the prosciutto and duxelle fully around the fillet. In the end his dish was only in the oven for 25 minutes, and Poh and Kumar’s were not in for much longer than that.

There was still love in the Masterchef kitchen with Jonathan assisting Kumar after he realised he had left out his crepe. Also Chris helped Aaron “his mate” to decorate his Wellington. Chris was probably seeing his Masterchef house drinking buddy disappear.

Hayden’s Wellington did not have the mushrooms all the way around, but his sauce was fantastic. Considering Gary told him how to cook it even thought it was on the way to being a disaster. Otherwise he might have been at risk of going home.

I would really like it if the dishes were judged blind and the George and Gary were not running around the kitchen helping them, after all they are All Stars.

Jonathan was finally finding his cooking legs as his dish was described as exceptional. George finally got to say “Well made (maid) Marion” something he must have been dying to say all series.

Aaron was eliminated as his pastry was undercooked and Kumar also was gone because his sauce was too salty.

As Aaron said “it was not his finest outing” cut finger and all. His one cooking highlight in the last week was toasting the burger buns at the fireman’s sausage sizzle, whilst Kumar made a cracker custard for the croquembouche and received a top three for his weird asparagus ice cream.

However Aaron said he is off to the US to film a rock and roll food show, with Hayden looking on enviously, thinking he would swap his spot with Aaron if he could just make a show like that.

Kumar is releasing a cook book with Sri Lankan recipes which has his own illustrations in them. Bless him.


1 Maz { 08.07.12 at 9:01 am }

Love the comment about Chris losing his drinking buddy. :)

No big surprises who went home. Even if the dish was cooked perfectly the outcome still would have been the same.

2 Culinary Boner { 08.07.12 at 9:23 am }

So, finally, one of the few times they show us every single dish but then they choose to do this when it’s the same damn dish.

Beef Wellington to the power of nine, anyone?

“Nine Beef Wellingtons for Mortal Judges doomed to die,
One Beef Wellington for the Fat Lord reading the paper on his dark throne,
One Beef Wellington to rule them all,
One Beef Wellington to find them,
One Beef Wellington to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Masterchef where the Shadows lie.”

3 Morgan { 08.07.12 at 9:29 am }

Kumar going “Oh shit” was the highlight of the episode for me. Never thought I would ever hear the sweet old fellow swear. I’ll miss him.

4 A.P { 08.07.12 at 9:34 am }

Was a bit sorry to see Aaron and Kumar go as I like them both but they both seem to have other things on the horizon, good that Aaron was given money for the Salvos.
The blind tastings are still the way to go with different judges, it makes it far more interesting and fair. Where is Matt Preston by the way?
I don’t think that the judges need to help such a talented bunch of all stars!

5 Dunbi { 08.07.12 at 9:45 am }

Yes, amazing wasn’t it to show all dishes. They are all cooking something different tonight so hope we get to see each one.
Thought for a minute Chris had blown it with his port sauce, silly thing to do really. Pleased for Jonathon.
Sorry to see Aaron and Kumar go but thought it was a fair decision and nice Aaron received the $5000. Kumar’s book looks beautiful, worth buying for the stories and illustrations alone.
I had a look at the Beef Wellington recipe and it says it serves four, I thought it would have stretched to six.

6 JK { 08.07.12 at 9:51 am }

Not sure why they need to revisit the same ‘ol dishes time and time again? what about shine doing some work for once and think about something new and exciting for the all stars to cook?

7 Reality Raver { 08.07.12 at 10:13 am }

JK – the concept of them re doing the challenges is taken from Top Chef Masters, where the Masters were doing challenges that were on the original Top Chef show.

Dunbi – thinking of having a crack at making it, but may dump the crepe as that looks too difficult

8 brain dead dave { 08.07.12 at 10:15 am }

If Gary and George didn’t help, several of those amata offerings would have clearly fallen into the the Beef Unwellington category.

Where are these alleged “Ma$ters ” ,then, $hine? It’s as if they’re presented as culinary gold medalists but the viewer is ultimately presented with a failure.

9 PollyB { 08.07.12 at 10:28 am }

Boring brown food x 9. Great.

10 Dunbi { 08.07.12 at 10:39 am }

Yes RR, I too would like to have a go at making it. It did look delicious, but I also thought I would not do the crepe, can’t figure out why it’s needed.

11 Joseph Skyrim { 08.07.12 at 11:13 am }

@CB #2 – haha funny! I agree though, what annoyed me were the 1 second shots of the “plating”. Yes by all means show this when they are cooking different stuff, but if its all the same pastry thing with a pot beside it…. erm. 😛

Good to see Jono finally doing good though. However I’m annoyed that he and Justine are still both on $0 raised at this point.

Off-topic: Ch9 – the supposedly olympic channel, why the f*ck are they still showing Rugby? Fox requires 5 channels to show every single thing going on, so there’s no lack of olympic content for them to replay. :/ Hope next time a better free to air channel gets the rights to it as Ch9 clearly don’t deserve it.

12 kess { 08.07.12 at 11:33 am }

Have never tasted a beef wellington with crepes. Am I the only one who has only ever had beef/w that has no mushies or crepes, just chiken liver pate on top of the meat, then pastry? The crepes sounds yuck. Just adding calories for nothing.

13 PollyB { 08.07.12 at 11:37 am }

Kess – The crepes are added so the pastry doesn’t soak up the moisture from the mushrooms, so the pastry cooks properly. And so it doesn’t take on the fat from the bacon too I guess. Perhaps it is the bacon that constitutes this being Gary’s ‘signature’ dish. Fat-ty Boom-bah.

14 Culinary Boner { 08.07.12 at 11:45 am }

Yeah adding prosciutto is just so French, man.

Like kess, the versions I’ve had used pate.

15 Chunks { 08.07.12 at 11:47 am }

If not for her status I suspect Poh would have been going home and agree with Maz that there will be a hierarchy in the eliminations. The contestants with most to lose would be crazy to have taken on this risk without some sort of protection from humiliation in their contracts.

Think I may actually give that recipe a go.

16 Dunbi { 08.07.12 at 12:09 pm }

Only ones I’ve had used pate. Mushrooms might be nice, but don’t fancy eating crepe and pastry.
Agree with Joseph, Ch. 9 Olympics coverage has been woeful.

17 brain dead dave { 08.07.12 at 12:39 pm }

This week I think Ma$terchef is a better overall viewing experience than the Ch 9 Olympics. Muted sound and captions enabled for All $tars,however.

Ch 9 are reaping a bitter harvest for their incompetence ~ the avalanche of gold that’s been downgraded to a trickle. They must be praying Sally Pearson wins the Women’s 100 m Hurdles (not for mine) so they can do some celebrating.

We come from the land down under
Where women slow and men blunder
Sure we’d have a medal plunder
We better run, we better take cover.

18 Isabel { 08.07.12 at 12:50 pm }

I’m sorry Aaron has gone, I liked him. Even enjoying the bloke with the hat .. he doesn’t look as greasy as he once did.

I’ve made Beef Wellington a few times, either with pate (the original French recipe) and with mushrooms. The last time I made them I used crepes which, as mentioned above, do keep the pastry crisp, although I prefer the dish without crepes.

No need to make crepes either – I use Creative Gourmet French Crepes from the supermarket – they are excellent. In fact I’m using them tonight for my spinach and ricotta crepes!

19 Reality Raver { 08.07.12 at 12:57 pm }

Isabel great tip.

The best beef wellington I have had was at Ian Curley’s restaurant in Melbourne The European it was truly delicious.

20 Dunbi { 08.07.12 at 1:04 pm }

Must look out for those crepes Isabel, what a good idea. I also see they use Careme puff pastry which is supposed to be the best, but I’ve never seen it in the supermarket.

21 Isabel { 08.07.12 at 1:08 pm }

Those crepes are in the freezer section with the pastry, although I haven’t noticed Careme pastry before – will have to look out for that – perhaps it’s available in upmarket delis, like Simon Johnson …

22 Culinary Boner { 08.07.12 at 1:17 pm }

Isabel, no doubt Coles have them in the same section as the sea urchin and bone marrow

23 Moonstruck { 08.07.12 at 1:27 pm }

Poh should have been eliminated. When Gary started to cut the Beef Wellington a pice of the pastry fell off (as it would have given she did not put it in the fridge/freezer. Next shot no piece off from the pastry on the wooden board!!!!!!
Whose beef Wellington did they really show?

24 Dunbi { 08.07.12 at 1:34 pm }

Lol CB and don’t forget the botargo!

25 lulu { 08.07.12 at 1:36 pm }

Hahaha, CBoner … “Beef Wellington to the power of 9.”
How tedious was that! – but yeah, we got to see all of them .. unfortunately, in this case.

I’ve had many a B.Well with just the mushrooms and pate, and they’ve been perfectly fine and non-soggy. I think that Gary just wanted a ‘signature’ dish, hence all the extraneous stuff … maybe overkill?
I’m going to make mine with strawberries next time and call it my signature Beef Well.

Was sorry to see Aaron go; he was entertaining …. now poor Chris will have to hang out with the women and drink Darjeeling.

26 kingfisher { 08.07.12 at 1:37 pm }

me thinks that gorge is kumar’s love child ????? i couldn’t split them last night . BEEF WELLINGTON YUMMO IN MY TUMMMO

27 Cheryl { 08.07.12 at 3:15 pm }

There really is a bit of difference in how they are treated. While the judging was going on Julie’s sauce was sitting on her burner, you could see her stirring it a bit while someone was walking up from behind her to be judged, but when I looked at Justine’s her sauce was already on her board. Looks like Julie stuffed up her timings but was allowed to get away with it.

28 Dunbi { 08.07.12 at 3:59 pm }

Julie was also the only one to be ‘invited’ to the back of the tasting bench to stand between George and Gary when they were tasting her dish. They obviously have a huge soft spot for her.

29 Gidgit { 08.07.12 at 6:11 pm }

The editing of this series of all stars is quite dreadful. If I didn’t know better I would think Lara Bingle’s brother and those two airheads from The Shire were editing it!
I will say Gary’s ‘farewell’ of Kumar and Aaron was very kind and sincere. I did notice George being very quiet though.

I honestly think Shine producers have forgotten that we watch this show to see cooking and the food that is cooked – it’s not Big Brother – it’s a cooking show. Maybe someone needs to remind them – or just give the franchise back to Freemantle!

30 Culinary Boner { 08.07.12 at 10:23 pm }

“What the fuck have you done to my Beef Wellington?!”

31 Ari { 08.07.12 at 11:54 pm }

The channel 9 olympic coverage is horrible! But has improved probably with the tons of backlash.

Either way I’ve never been more invested with the Olympics ever in my life. It’s probably the gold medal drought.

It has also helped cure and let go of my crush on Andy. Which is a good thing. I’m pretty much very in love with the German men’s gymnastic team now. Philipp Boy and Marcel Nguyen are defo fiiiiiine.

Oh and back to MCAUAllstars. Just hoping Jono takes out a lot. A little sad to see Kumar go. He’s such a sweetling.