The Masterchef Invention Test – I won!

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I’ve never entered a cooking contest before and I unthinkingly agreed to participate in the Masterchef Challenge Invention Test at the BBC Good Food Show thinking it would be fun do a bit of cooking with the Masterchef guys in a fabulously well equipped Miele kitchen.

I didn’t realise how ill prepared I was until  @meemalee and @fussfreeflavours were discussing tactics and how other people had memorised recipes.

The hour dawned and the contestants were trooped out to our workstations to check out the ingredients which were :

  • pork fillet
  • butternut squash
  • sage
  • basil
  • aubergine
  • ginger nuts
  • a pear
  • bag of prunes

What can you make with this lot? Pork and prunes something?

We then got a few minutes backstage to concoct something edible  out of this lot.  Ideas and recipes were flying around the room, at least in our corner with some help from Mimi and Edd. The only thing I could do quickly was to do just make some sort of Asiany stir fry with fried rice. On the bright side, there was not time to get nervous or worried about looking like an idiot or cooking in front of an audience and the Masterchef judges and mentors.

Masterchef Invention Test

As we kicked off, 30 minutes seemed like ages. We each had a sous chef to help and mine was very handy in helping me fetch more crockery and implements. She soon got bored and insisted on helping me chop up some ginger for my throw everything in dish. On watching the videos after the event, I realised that I didn’t hear a thing the presenters said througout, except for the time checks,  as I was so busy just getting on with it.

Alex Rushmer, Tim Kinnaird and Dick Strawbridge were the mentors who would decide on which dish would get into the finals. Dick kept telling me to add chillies as John likes it hot, so I did.

Tim checking out Pippa's sugar
Tim checking out Pippa's sugar
Alex checking out the pork stir fry
Alex checking out the pork stir fry

(Photos by Meemalee)

I can try and recreate the recipe here but can’t guarantee the results. (Health Warning)

Spicy Stir Fried Pork with Egg Fried Rice Recipe

Step 1 – Cook some rice, bring to boil and leave on low heat for 10-12 mins.

Step 2 – Slice up the pork into thin slices for the stir fry, add soya sauce, dash of port ( or any other availabel alcohol like rice wine or sherry), corn flour and sliced ginger to marinade. Also cube some of the sliced pork fillet for the fried rice.

Step 3 – Peel and slice the butternut squash into bite size pieces. I sliced it very thin to cook a bit faster.

Step 4 – Chop up garlic to taste, I did about 4-5 cloves for both the dishes.

Step 5 – Julienne loads of red chillies for the pork dish

Step 6 – Slice some onions, as much as you like to give the dish a bit more bulk and flavour

Now for the cooking:

1. Heat some oil in a frying pan, fry the garlic with a pinch of salt, don’t brown. Add the onions and the marinaded pork. The pan is at the highest possible heat setting. Add in the butternut squash and the chillies. Keep stirring and add some water which will create the sauce as there is cornflour in the mix. Keep tasting it to adjust flavourings. Add 1tsp of sugar and some black pepper.

2. In another pan, heat oil, fry garlic, add pork cubettes. Fry till pork is cooked. Add the rice and stir to mix evenly. As there was nothing green I could add to this for some colour, I had to add some chopped chillies. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required. At the end, make a well in the rice and break in an egg. This was a small one portion serving so one egg is enough. I usually add a dash of soya sauce to the egg and scramble it into the rice. When the egg is cooked, serve.

Stir fried pork and garlic fried rice
Stir fried pork and garlic fried rice

3 finalist were chosen by the mentors and I was the 1st one picked. Both John and Greg the Pumpkin really liked it, even though the finished product was really hot. Next came Pippa with her lemony cheesecake and thirdly was a couple who made 2 dishes.

As they deliberated, they announced that since the judges could do what they wanted, we all won.


Masterchef Invention Test Dick Strawbridge
Masterchef Invention Test Dick Strawbridge, thanks for the tip Dick.

Masterchef Invention Test

Masterchef Invention Test - The Winners
Masterchef Invention Test - The Winners

It was such a fun day out with lots of fun people, filled with all sorts of foodie escapades. Thanks to Miele for the invitation to such a fun day. Bring on the next cooking competition.

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  1. Sounds and looks delish! Well done you winner! I fancy cooking that dish very soon.

  2. Your dish was fabulous – spicy but also well-balanced – a well-deserved win!

  3. Well done May, congratulations! That man’s moustache made me smile, you seem pretty startled by it.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie