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A taste of Ballarat with MasterChef’s Tim Bone

Visit Ballarat

24 Jun 2020

Filed underFood & Drink

After reaching the top four on the 2019 season of MasterChef, Tim Bone returned home to Ballarat to launch his new business, Tim’s Toasties, and start a family with his wife Abbey.

Today, the father-to-be has cracked open his cookbooks to share with us his recipes for two classic winter warmers – roasted pumpkin soup and slow-cooked beef cheeks.

Roasted pumpkin soup 

Serves 4-6  


2 tbs olive oil 
1 brown onion, chopped 
1 leek (white part only), finely sliced 
4 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 potato, peeled and chopped 
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 
2 tsp ground cumin 
1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped 
1 tbs fresh thyme leaves 
1 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled & chopped 
1 litre chicken stock 
300ml cream 
Salt and pepper 


1. Preheat the oven to 200C. 

2. Add pumpkin to a roasting dish, add 1 tbs of the olive oil, ground cumin, rosemary and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and give the pumpkin a toss to coat. 

3. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until soft and golden. 

4. While the pumpkin is roasting, in a large pot over medium heat, add the other tbs of olive oil. Fry the onion, leek and garlic for five minutes until soft and just starting to colour. 

5. Add the potato and nutmeg, stir to combine. 

6. Add chicken stock and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and soft.

7. Take off the heat and add in the roasted pumpkin. Let cool slightly before blending with a stick blender until smooth. 

8. Stir in 150ml of cream and season to taste. 

9. Ladle into bowls and finish with a little bit of extra grated nutmeg and a drizzle of cream on top. 

10. Enjoy with some nice crusty bread.

Slow-cooked beef cheeks


4 beef cheeks 
1 tsp olive oil 
200g sliced mushrooms 
200g chopped bacon 
2 celery sticks, diced 
1 red onion, diced 
4 cloves garlic, chopped 
1 carrot, diced 
1 cinnamon stick 
3 cloves 
3 bay leaves 
3 sage leaves 
3 sprigs of rosemary 
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn 
1/4 cup parsley, chopped 
250ml red wine 
300ml tomato passata 
Salt and pepper  


1. Season beef cheeks with salt and pepper. 

2. Heat oil in frying pan over high heat. Cook the beef cheeks for 2-3 minutes each side to seal. Remove beef cheeks. Set aside. 

3. In the same frying pan, add the bacon, mushrooms, celery, onion and carrot. Fry for 3-4 minutes, scraping all the brown bits from the beef cheeks off the bottom of the pan for flavour. 

4. Add the beef cheeks to a slow cooker with bacon, mushrooms, celery, onion, carrot, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, sage and rosemary, red wine and tomato passata. 

5. Cook on high setting for 6-8 hours until the beef cheeks are tender and almost falling apart. 

6. Stir in basil and parsley. 

7. Serve with creamy mash potato and crusty bread. 


The City of Ballarat acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.