Heston Blumenthal Wiki: Facts About “MasterChef Australia” Guest Judge

Heston Blumenthal
Credit: Oli Scarff / Staff

British chef, Heston Blumenthal, is famous for his creative cooking. He was awarded honorary degrees from Reading, Bristol, and London Universities for his scientific understanding in cooking. Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants include The Fat Duck and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, as well as two pubs in Bray. He was also a guest judge on the MasterChef Australia finale.


Heston Blumenthal on “MasterChef Australia”

To win the MasterChef title, Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair had to prepare Heston Blumenthal’s 91-step grand finale dessert, Verjus in Egg, in five-and-a-half-hours. Gary Mehigan described it as the toughest dish ever. Duggan beat Sinclair with two points on the MasterChef finale.

It was not the first time that he had presented the MasterChef contestants with a challenge. In 2015, he presented the finale contestants with an intricate and extremely difficult challenge, the Botrytis Cinerea recipe. This is a 55-step, 17-element dessert recipe.

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Blumenthal’s Pub Transformation

Heston Blumenthal’s pub in Bray, the Hinds Head, will be closed down late March for a transformation. It will replace the à la carte menu with three-, four-, and six-course menus that will change every month. They will continue serving dishes like the steamed oxtail and kidney pudding, quaking pudding, and running yolk scotch egg.

It will have an enlarged dining area with heavy tables and a lounge area with a bar. The wine collection will also be expanded.


Interesting Facts about Heston Blumenthal

  • In 2013, his restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, was voted the seventh best restaurant in the world
  • He is known for creating unusual food combinations, such as Roast Foie Gras “Benzaldehyde” and salmon poached in a licorice gel with asparagus
  • He also created a crab ice cream to accompany a crab risotto
  • Blumenthal is also known for his use of scented dry ice
  • He created a Sound of the Sea dish where diners can listen to recorded sounds of crashing waves, distant seagulls, and a ship’s horn while eating a dish of king fish, konbu-cured halibut, a ballotine of mackerel with five different seaweeds, sea jelly beans, and monk’s beard served on sand made from tapioca starch with miso paste and dried seaweeds
  • In 2009, Blumenthal cooked a meal for the Queen’s private party held during Ascot week at Windsor Castle
  • Heston Blumenthal’s cookbooks include Family Food: A New Approach to Cooking, The Fat Duck Cookbook, Heston’s Fantastical Feasts, and many more
  • He has co-written an academic paper on the taste and flavor of tomatoes called, “Differences in Glutamic Acid and 5’-Ribonucleotide Contents between Flesh and Pulp of Tomatoes and the Relationship with Umami Taste”
  • He was appointed an OBE in the New Years Honours list for his services to British Gastronomy in 2006

Heston Blumenthal’s Favorite Recipe

Here is Heston Blumenthal’s favorite recipe—Oxtail and Kidney Pudding.

Ingredients

For the braised oxtail and kidneys:

  • 5 kg oxtail
  • 3 ox kidneys
  • 600 g onion, sliced
  • 500 g tomatoes, halved
  • 400 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 350 g carrots, sliced
  • 350 g leeks, sliced
  • 8 g thyme
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 kg veal stock
  • 2 kg chicken stock
  • 150 g celery, sliced
  • 1 g bay leaves
  • 200 ml brandy
  • 500 ml red wine

For the suet pastry:

  • 1 kg self-rising flour, sifted
  • 500 g Atora suet
  • 15 g salt
  • 600 ml water

Directions for the braised oxtail

Brown the oxtail in a pan and deglaze it with red wine and brandy. Make sure the wine and brandy are flamed. Place it aside.

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Fry the leek, celery, and carrot in one pan, the star anise and onion in another, and the mushrooms in a third.
The vegetables should get caramelized. Face down the tomatoes in the pan and add little sugar. Caramelize them and deglaze with a splash of water.

Add all the ingredients together in a pressure cooker. The stock should be melted and mixed before putting the lid on. Cook the oxtail for one-and-a-half hours, and then leave it to cool naturally.

Trim the ox kidneys and remove any sinew. Put them in a pan of cold water and bring it to a boil. Place the kidneys in stock with thyme, peppercorns,and bay leaves. Simmer gently for two hours until tender.

Directions for the pastry

Mix the sifted flour, salt, and suet. Add water to make the dough come together. Rest for at least 20 minutes.

To assemble the pudding

Butter the mold three times, freezing after each application. Take 120 grams of the pastry for the molds and roll into a circle, about a quarter of an inch thick.

Roll and stamp out the lids at the same thickness with a pastry cutter. Heat up the pudding sauce until just melted. Put 90 grams of cooked oxtail and 25 grams of kidney into the molds.

Fill up with the sauce, just below the rim. Egg-wash the lip of pastry and fork down the lids. Cook for two hours at 100 °C steam. Let them rest overnight before eating.


Sources:

Blumenthal, H., “My favourite recipe: Heston Blumenthal,” The Telegraph web site, November 1, 2005;
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/3322734/My-favourite-recipe-Heston-Blumenthal.html.

Lutrario, J., “Heston Blumenthal’s The Hind to undergo a major refurb,” BigHospitality web site, February 17, 2017;
http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Venues/Heston-Blumenthal-s-The-Hinds-Head-to-undergo-transformation