MasterChef SA: Episode 14 reviewed. Sausage making and the 12 hour test
Last night, MasterChef SA returned from its hedonistic trip to Zanzibar and marched straight into traditional South African cuisine.
Boerewors was on the menu in the MasterChef kitchen as the contestants were tasked with making their own from scratch and presenting it in a dish. None of the contestants seemed particularly thrilled by the prospect of sausage-making, but nevertheless charged off to the pantry with their usual gusto.
What was most striking about this challenge was the sheer variety. Lungile went relatively traditional with an ostrich boerewors flavoured with cumin and coriander and rounded out her North African theme with some couscous.
Sue-Ann took perhaps the boldest approach in trying to create an Asian, Thai-inspired sausage. To reconcile this South African classic with the exotic flavours of the East, she used an array of spices including ginger and chilli.
Grilled lamb sausage and sweet pepper with hot pepper sauce
Khaya essentially dumped half the pantry into her concoction with a wide range of spices including turmeric and cardamom, as well as the rather interesting move of adding pistachios to her sausage meat.
Sarel from Sabie went all avant-garde on us by adding mango chutney right into his meat before packing the sausages. His final presentation was surprisingly dainty.
At the taste test, Sarel shone, understandably, as did Manisha who presented her relatively traditional wors impeccably, garnering herself the win. Deena and Lungi were also praised.
The wors was not so strong in the other three, however. Ilse overworked her sausages, causing them to be a bit tough. She also did an adorable re-enactment of them exploding in the pan as she had made the cases too tight.
Sticky mustard grilled sausage
Despite her carnival of spices, Khaya’s sausage was paradoxically bland and overpowering, while Sue-Ann failed to make her Asian fusion sausage work. Andrew made the fair point that had she, or anyone, ever seen a sausage in Asia?
Thus the three lovely ladies were dragged down into the raging fires of the pressure test, and raging they were.
The judges launched into a rousing speech about how MasterChef aimed to find a chef who was the complete package, and that professional cheffing isn’t just fun and games.
Then they dropped the bomb. A time bomb, if you will. A 12-hour slow-cooking challenge to make slow-roasted deboned lamb, a pressed lamb shank terrine, Maxim potatoes and a jus. Khaya broke down in hysterical laughter, mentioning that pregnancy hormones tend to make one rather tired.
Slow-roasted lamb, Italian style
The challenge began immediately after the invention test, meaning they would continue cooking throughout the night.
The contestants looked pretty stumped. With so much time, yet so much to do, the question of where to start was a tricky one.
Ilse looked perhaps the most confused, and a combination of poor knife selection and not knowing what butterflying meant resulted in a horribly mangled piece of lamb.
The other contestants and judges went off to bed and left the three ladies all looking rather sad and desperate. Nevertheless, they struggled through.
After a cute cappuccino break, pregnancy took hold of Khaya and she settled in for a quick nap while the other two soldiered on. Ilse continued to struggle, particularly with her potato crisp, and got progressively more flustered.
Slow-roasted, barbeque-infused lamb
The remaining time continued to flash up on the screen, giving a distinct, 24 feel to the episode.
As their arduous task drew to a close, the women began to look somewhat haggard as they carefully put together their plates.
Khaya’s was tasted first, she had somehow managed to undercook her lamb and thus it was a touch pink and chewy. The other components were all up to standard, though.
Ilse was next to present her offering. Her lamb was the low point, having been improperly deboned and overcooked. She didn’t get her potato crisp right and the sauce was overly sharp. Her terrine, however, was excellent.
Try this slow-roasted lamb and beans with garlic and rosemary
Last up was Sue-Ann who presented by far the best dish of the three. Every aspect of the dish was excellent with the exception of a slightly bitter sauce. Pete judged it the best dish she had made so far on the show and claimed they had finally met the real Sue-Ann. She was unsurprisingly rejuvenated with delight.
At the end of it all, Ilse was deemed the weakest and bid a tearful goodbye. Only six budding chefs now remain and, with no real frontrunner, the season may be a tight one.
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