I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Monopoly Is Awesome

It's entirely possible that the title of this post might have been "Monopoly SUCKS"... but since I ended the game like this:

I feel I can be more kindly towards what is possibly the longest, most boring, frustrating game ever invented. Seriously. Whoever invented Monopoly clearly had a warped sense of what is actually fun and what's not. In our case we were playing "the dot com" edition, which my Mom bought my DH several years ago. So all the properties are well-known websites...and it was very amusing to see that there is no Google, but there is a Lycos and an Ask Jeeves and a whole bunch of other sites which are now RIP. All the money is in millions and the cards are "Email" and "Download" cards. The whole game is actually pretty cute, and the perfect (and yet somehow most boring) way to blow a few afternoons with DS and DH.

Since I needed an excuse to get up every few minutes (or fall asleep at the table), I decided to also do some lovely Autumn slow cooking. So our game was enhanced by the delicious smell - and then heavenly taste - of Beef with Orange, Prines, Cumin and Green Beans... with a side of Saffron Pilaf.

Seriously, seriously good... and a seriously good diversion from my strategy which involved having no money but boat loads of property.

Did I mention that I won? No, I totally MOPPED THE FLOOR with my boys. Bwahahahaha, it's great to be Queen.

Beef with Orange, Prunes, Cumin and Green Beans
Originally from Good Taste magazine, June 2008

Serves 6
1/4 cup plain flour
1.25kg casserole beef (blade steak) cut into 5 cm pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large brown onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 cup pitted prunes
400g green beans, trimmed

NB: 1.25kg = 2.4 pounds, and 400g = 1 pound

1. Place the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Add the beef and toss to coat. Shake off excess.
2. Heat 2T of oil in a large casserole over medium high heat. Add half the beef and cook, turning, until browned (about 5 min). Transfer to a plate then repeat with remaining beef. Set beef aside.
3. Heat the remaining oil in the pot. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the tomato paste, turmeric and cumin and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Return the beef to the pot and add the orange juice, stock and prunes. Bring to a simmer.
4. Reduce heat to very low. Cook, partially covered, for 1 hour. Add the beans and cover the pot, and cook for a further hour or until the meat is very tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Saffron Pilaf
Serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil
2 T butter
2 brown onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
large pinch of saffron threads
2 1/2 cups beef stock or water

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the rice, saffron and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and cook over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Set aside and stand, covered, for a further 5 minutes. Use a fork to separate the grains.


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