Tracey Scores Immunity on Masterchef

Tracy Collins’ dream run in MasterChef Australia is continuing 

Hard on the heels of securing the power apron  and the ability to shape the competition last week, Tracy collected a coveted immunity pin last night. Triumphing over fellow South Australian contestants Colin Sheppard and Laura Cassai in round one by  producing the best beer-snack, Tracy, selected a chef to battle in round two.

Faced with Jason Jones from Melbourne’s Mamasita and B’stilla, and the two-hatted James Viles from Biota  Dining, Tracy chose James. Winning the coin toss, Tracy decided to cook with “heads” ingredients (as opposed  to “tails”) and had the choice of barramundi and prawn heads, beef cheeks, lambs brains, ox tongue, pigs’ ears  and pork neck.

With 75 minutes of cooking time, Tracy opted for braised beef cheeks with pan-fried gnocchi. Beef cheeks  need to be soft and tender when served. Tracy decided to use a pressure cooker – and narrowly avoided  disaster when she realised the valve on the machine was open, leaving her meat uncooked. Thanks to  meticulous plating, Tracy turned a potentially home-style dish into a restaurant quality meal.
A calm James cooked pork neck, hen yolk, onions and leek, employing many techniques for refined dish. The contestants were enthralled watching him cook lambs brains with cream to create a “brain shake”. James’ dish was modern and beautiful, while Tracy’s was rustic, warm and wintry. With votes cast according to  flavour, it was a tight finish. Tracy was crowned the winner by just one point.

Tonight, MasterChef  heads to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road to prepare a banquet for a host  of local producers in a team challenge.

Masterchef Australia airs 7:30 Sunday to Thursday on Ten.