When steak night killed boys' night
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, prevent the judges from bellowing with a juicy bone – it's steak night!
Tonight is boys' night with a touching twist of True Blood-inspired sauces and beef-flavoured love handles.
The top five are gearing up to becoming the final fantastic four and reminisce before heading into the kitchen – Andy and Ben over soft-poached eggs and percolated coffee while Julia prepares for the challenge by matching her accessories to her blood-red neck tie and hair pin.
Gaz admits to feeling a bit of electricity in the air before Matt announces that today's challenge will be in two parts and revealing a cloche that Audra, Mindy, Julia, Ben and Andy are shocked by.
"THIS is the perfect steak and you have TWENTY minutes to make the PERFECT sauce!"
He encourages them to explore the pantry and make a condiment that will "blow us away".
As they scurry to grab herbs, fungi and cream, Preston ticks "making sauce sound saucy" off his culinary bucket list.
Andy is making a "not too creamy" mushroom sauce while Ben opts for something from the pepper corn and red wine genre.
Audra wants to liven things with vinaigrette, which prompts Gaz to talk like a toddler who only knows adjectives startling with drool – "ohh yummy, yummo, ohh".
Mindy packs five different types of mushrooms into her gravy boat and Julia has thrown enough garlic in her aioli to kill off Edward Cullen's clan.
"I love a quick challenge, I’m ready to eat," says Gaz as they make their way, one by one, to the serving station.
With the sloppy texture and suspect colours it's like these five have been commissioned to create special effects for the next Freddy Krueger film as opposed to a dish for fine dining.
Audra's oil-based sauce is deemed the winner by an acidic hair says Matt - "it's like meeting a really old friend with a radical haircut".
Part two of the challenge - the part where Audra will be given an advantage - begins with Matt leading them to another room which has been converted to an inner-city cattle station.
May I introduce to you Wayne.
This bloke has got some real beef, horns included – and so does his minder MasterChef UK host and bovine connoisseur John Torode.
"It's your responsibility as a carnivore to look your food in the eye at least once a year," Matt says as they grow increasingly concerned this will be a running-of-the-bulls-type contest.
As Chef Torode talks about beef cuts and how the rump is not actually a derrière but "your love handles or muffin top", Matt grows increasingly aware of the steer in the storeroom and decides to take the conversation of what round two's challenge will involve.
They have two hours to create a dish using either short ribs, shins, rib-eye, chuck or rump.
Audra gets to pick first and goes with short ribs to concoct braised short ribs in dark master stock and offers up a nugget of advice that tonight "you either survive or you die".
Andy opts for braised shin with mashed potato and vegetables and uses the bone marrow as a garnish.
Chef Torode, who earlier encouraged Andy to feel his "muffin top" says his shins are "mouth wateringly soft".
Julia, who admits that the behind of a cow is not her forte, decides to serve up a rump steak with caramelised shallot tarte tatin, which is received with lukewarm praise mainly for her "aggressively sharp and complex gravy" – who knew a jus could imitate a personality?
Mindy decides to let her finger food do the talking with pepper and Szechuan braised beef wrapped in lettuce and served with fried peanuts.
Matt loved the dish so much he offers her a place in the final four after Torode scalds her for not showcasing the beef.
Ben. Oh Ben. His dish with no direction which Gaz refers to as "blah, blah, blah" looks like a stray heifer from Old McDonald's Farm has collapsed on his plate and is taking a snooze on a bed of onion jam and baby carrots.
He returns to his station and sinks behind the sink.
And there is it – death by cow, cue the tears and Andy's reading of Auden's Funeral Blues. "He was my sun, my moon – the reason for my rib eye" and just like that the greatest love story on Australian television (apart from Mitch and Gabby from The Shire, obviously) is over with the apple of Andy's eye heading back to the Apple Isle.
While Ben is glad to leave with no regrets and regretting nothing, the two mates are now planning to open a Mexican restaurant together.
And then there were four...