RECAP: Gordon Ramsay’s Uncharted – How the celebrity chef created those stunning Texan dishes
Series three of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted kicked off last night (Wednesday 15th September), showcasing sensational Texan landscapes, flavours and food.
The series sees Gordon Ramsay travel to international food hotspots to discover new ingredients and do battle with local chefs. In the first episode, Gordon challenges award-winning Texan chef Justin Yu to a cook off, before travelling across the state to source unique ideas, ingredients and flavours.
His first stop is meeting Justin, who quickly puts Gordon to work harvesting mesquite wood. Mesquite is a native tree to the dryer American states, which is commonly used for smoking meats in Texas.
Next, Gordon is off to find the “best beef anywhere in Texas”. His efforts lead him to Markham, where he meets rancher Clint Radley, as well as Clint’s daughters Maddie and Meredith. It becomes clear pretty quickly that wrangling cattle is not Gordon’s forte, and neither is riding a horse. Nonetheless, Gordon secures rib eye steak for his feast.
Gordon goes exotic with his next stop, meeting survival expert Bob Hansler in Runge to hunt rattlesnakes. This proves a more proactive task than Gordon expects, as Hansler is legally blind. With some difficulty, Gordon does catch a snake and the pair grill it over a fire. Apparently, the texture is like chicken. It won’t ever be a dining staple, but it is a pretty interesting local ingredient.
Next up is meeting Hansler’s daughter Bree, who teaches Gordon what ingredients can be foraged from the forest. These include wild pecans, which are sweeter and smaller than standard pecans, prickly pear cactus fruit (called tuna and not to be confused with the fish) and sweet wild onions.
For his next big dish, Gordon recruits local hunter Ric Rosser to help him acquire local pork. Wild feral hogs are a pest in Texas, as they love to tear up crops and land. They’re also very difficult to catch, as Gordon goes home empty-handed even after dousing himself in a special homebrew designed to make him more appealing to the hogs. Nonetheless, Ric agrees to help get Gordon the meat for the dish.
Finally, Gordon seeks to incorporate some Tex Mex flavours into his feast. He meets local chef Emmanuel Chavez, who explains how to make tortillas from blue corn. He also picks some pequin peppers to add a bit of spice to the proceedings.
As Gordon and Justin prepare to face off, Gordon heightens the stakes. If Justin wins, Gordon will don a cowboy hat. If Gordon wins, Justin will wear a Scottish kilt. Both promise not to lose.
All of the efforts made in the episode come to fruition with a selection of delicious dishes. Both chefs prepare three dishes. Gordon makes pork ribs, smoked and grilled with barbecue sauce and topped with toasted pecans. Then there’s grilled ribeye steak with coffee ancho rub, which he serves with chimmichurri. And finally, there’s the rattlesnake, which Gordon rolls in cornmeal and grills before serving it in a hog bone broth soup with sweet onions on top.
Justin prepares his signature dish, chilli, but with wild boar instead of his usual venison. He also chooses beef for his second dish, combining grilled hanger steaks with baked potatoes loaded with the boar liver and heart and marinaded in whisky. And his final dish, after a bit of bargaining with Gordon, is tostadas – made with the same blue corn tortillas that Gordon sought out for himself.
The final result is absolutely mouthwatering, and one wishes they could have a place on a judging panel made of the same Texans Gordon met along the journey. The next episode looks set to be just as delicious, as Gordon visits Portugal to challenge local chef, Kiko Martins, to create the perfect feast for the Mayor of Nazaré. We can’t wait to see what Gordon comes up with next.