Masterchef…bbq team challenge

The contestants arrive and Matt, Gary and George are waiting in the garden near three barbecue stalls.  They’ll be in three teams of three and only the winning team is safe, the other two teams are through to elimination.  They pick pigs out of a bucket to pick teams.  The blue team is Sara, Jessica and Reynold.  The yellow team is Matthew, Amy and Ashleigh.  The red team is Billie, Georgia and Jessie.

There’s a bbq expert, Andy, to tell the teams about what kind of bbq they’re expected to do and Jessica is getting a tad excited.  They’re cooking slow and at low temperatures on things like ribs and pulled pork.  They get 6 hours to prep and cook.  Each team has to have enough food to feed 150 people.  They have to have a meat plate with three options, which has to include pork ribs and they have to have 3 vegetarian side dishes.  Oh and the bbqs have wood pellets in them and have smoking going on.

The red team gets their pork ribs marinating first and they’ve also got scotch fillet and chicken wings.  The blue team have Jessica taking control as she knows all about bbq, they’ve got the pork ribs, chicken drumsticks and lamb cutlets and Jessica wants to do a dry rub on the ribs first and then all these other things and Andy is pretty impressed listening to her.  The yellow team has their pork ribs and Ashleigh’s doing the rub for it, along with lamb loins and they also have beef.

An hour is already done…gee that went so quickly for the contestants.  Nothing like working outside in the elements, Georgia is putting cayenne pepper into her spice mix and ends up with it in her eyes because of the wind.

Two hours are down…gee that went even quicker.  Matthew puts the ribs in, at 105-115 degrees for 3-4 hours.  The red team are worried that their bbq isn’t hot, but the whole point is slow and low.  Jessica wants to do 30 racks of ribs so everyone gets 2 ribs per persons, but there isn’t enough room in the big smoker to do them, so she puts them into the other smoker and now they have to do the lamb and chicken in the same bbq and Andy’s worried about that.

For sides the blue team has broccolini with blue cheese, sweet potato smash and pickled watermelon.  The red team is doing sweet potato mash, corn with blue cheese sauce and leek and pomegranate salad and they decide on ½ a cob or corn per person…just a bit of corn.  The yellow team is doing corn with smoked yoghurt, pickled apple, fennel and brussel sprout slaw and a salad with oranges in it.

Andy stops everyone to give advice on how the ribs should be looking at the moment, so they all check their ribs and the red team is really worried as they think there’s no heat on their ribs, Andy says keep them closed and crank up the heat.  Matthew checks his bbqs and keeps adding more wood chips.

90 minutes to go and things are still going…slowly, slowly, very slowly.  Georgia checks the corn and they’re cold and the bbq itself is cold and she’s stressing.  They didn’t realise that if the bbq runs out of pellets it turns itself off…oh dear!!!   Worse still is that Georgia needs the corn to cook so that she can cook the chicken, but they’ll have to wait 10-15 minutes for the bbq to get hot again…oh and there’s now only 1 hour to go.

Jessica makes a braising liquid for the ribs and when it’s set she has to put the ribs in foil with the liquid and then wraps them up and puts them back into the smoker.  Sara gets the lamb out so that Reynold can put the chicken in and they’re all praying to the bbq gods right about now that everything will be cooked.

30 minutes to go and the red team keep opening the bbq to check on the ribs, even though they’ve been told to keep the bbq closed to get them hot.  Jessica gets her ribs out and starts to cut them and Andy says they look a little tight and they need to be back on the bbq, which stresses her no end and she has a teary and walks away and we go to an ad break.  Gary tells her she’s in a good spot and she just needs to keep it together.

15 minutes to go and Georgia has only just put the chicken into the bbq and the ribs still aren’t cooked and Andy says that he’s seen the bbq door opened lots and that if you’re looking, you’re not cooking…gee strange about that!!!  Georgia has had a lightbulb moment, but honestly there’s not even 15 minutes until the people arrive, not the right time to have that moment.

5 minutes to go and everyone is completely freaking out…this is going to be fun.  1 minute to go and the red team don’t have cooked chicken wings…oh dear…actually none of their meat is ready, whereas the yellow team has plated up meat already.

The gate opens and 150 people stroll in and the red team honestly only have sides available and not meat, and there are heaps of people standing there waiting.  Yellow team is serving straight away.  The blue team only has a few trays ready to serve and Jessica is happier with the ribs finally.  Georgia talks to the people, but it doesn’t get them food any quicker…gee I’m feeling for you hon.

No good that the ad break just showed an ad for tomorrow’s show…along with all the people who were in black aprons!!!  No real need to pay too much attention so far.

Tasting…yellow team is up first with sticky bbq ribs and Gary likes them, Andy says they’re a touch underdone.  Then there’s lemon thyme lamb which they all love and to think this is the dish the team were worried about.  Then pickled apple and fennel slaw and they all like that as well.

The blue team are into a routine…while the red team has finally just started to serve people…oh dear lord it is a slow painful experience and I do mean slow.

The blue team’s food gets tasted and Matt says that the meat tray looks great.  They have hickory and coffee smoked ribs and Matt’s in bbq heaven as it Gary, George meanwhile can’t talk because he’s getting every bit off the bone.

Then there is honey glazed lamb and Gary loves it.

Then smoky paprika chicken which strangely enough Gary doesn’t mind.

Then the pickled watermelon salad which guess what Gary likes as well and Matt’s all descriptive about.

The red team are still serving rather slowly…oh Georgia honey you’ve got every reason to be concerned right now…and to make things worse there’s a fire in the bbq while the chicken is still in there…yep definite need for an ad break now!!  The first is getting bigger and Georgia’s still worried about the chicken that is cooked perfectly.

Red team’s tasting time…spicy chicken wings and they can taste the burnt char…poor Matt’s coughing up goodness knows what and George is sweating up like nobody’s business and there’s too much spice…oh poor George.  Then smoky pork ribs and Gary and George say there’s way too salty and they’re not cooked enough.  Then they try the grilled corn with blue cheese dressing and the like that.  Then they try the sweet potato mash with bourbon and pecans and they like that.  Matt puts it into perspective, the red team was born just to do bbq sides, as opposed to cooking meat on a bbq and amazingly the red team serve the last two people with about 2 seconds to go.

Decision time…the first team into elimination is the red team…even without the ad that told us that it wasn’t half obvious that they screwed up.  Matt gives the positive talk to both the blue and yellow team.  So the decision came down to the team that had the best ribs out of the two and it is the blue team and Jessica is over the moon.

So in elimination will be Georgia, Amy, Ashleigh, Matthew, Billie and Jessie…except Ashleigh has an immunity pin…so will she cook or not cook.  Oh and Rick Stein is in the kitchen.

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