Rachel runs out of time on Masterchef

Last night Brent, Tash, Ben and Rachael faced the stark reality of going home.

In the kitchen, Matt Preston led the bidding in a unique auction-style elimination challenge. Each contestant started with 100 minutes of cooking time and the option to bid for proteins, vegetables and pantry ingredients. The more time they bid, the less time they had to cook.

Rachael spent 25 minutes of cooking time to buy pork belly. She then bid against Ben and Brent for nightshade and root vegetables, playing the game to push the price up for both.

Rachael and Tash entered a bidding war for the Asian greens, a complement to both Rachael’s pork belly and Tash’s mackerel. Tash was the victor, spending 45 minutes. By default, Rachael was left with the foraged greens, including samphire and saltbush.

Rachael needed the basics of flour, mustard and vinegar to cook her pork belly, but she knew if she bid too high she wouldn’t have enough time. Ben pushed the price up, leaving Rachael with just 50 minutes to prepare her dish.

Stressed from the start, Rachael was thrown by the foraged greens. She poached the pork in vinegar and water while roasting her crackling. Coating her pork in a flour, saltbush and mustard mix, she deep-fried it, hoping for lumps of beautiful golden saltbush-covered pork. But the coating turned black.

With five minutes left on the clock, Rachael decided to start over. Taking advice from fellow contestants observing from the balcony, she quickly deep-fried more pork, teaming it with her foraged greens and “crackle salt”.

In the tasting, the judges confirmed that Brent, Tash and Ben had cooked extremely well and Rachael’s time in the MasterChef Australia kitchen was over. They thanked Rachael for the array of delicious dishes she cooked for them, including “Rachael’s Crab”, which found its way onto Kylie Kwong’s menu.

Since leaving MasterChef Australia, Rachael has started a gourmet in-home dining service called Cook’s Night Off, where the hostess is the guest at her own dinner party. Rachael is also looking into undertaking indigenous food studies at college, as well as undertaking cooking demonstrations at local schools

Masterchef Airs 7:30 Sunday – Thursday on Ten  .