Szechuan Beef

This is a Rachael Ray recipe.

Mise en place. (French) “Everything in its place.”

Steak and Marinade:

1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds flat iron steak, flank steak or thin-cut sirloin steak

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce or low-sodium soy sauce

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons ground Szechuan peppercorns

1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric (only if not using fresh)

For the steak and marinade: Place steak in freezer for a few minutes, to firm up a bit, then thinly slice on a bias against the grain.

In a shallow dish, stir up marinade and spices: cornstarch, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, cumin, Szechuan pepper, and ground turmeric (if using).

Add meat and coat, then let stand 10 to 15 minutes.

Vegetables and Sauce:

1 ½ inches ginger root

1 ½ inches turmeric root (or add ground turmeric to marinade)

4 garlic gloves

About 1/3 cup soy sauce (or low-sodium soy sauce)

2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry – a fat splash)

1 tablespoon sweet chile sauce, chili garlic sauce or sriracha

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 large carrot

1 red field pepper (or other mild pepper, such as bell)

4 to 5 scallions (or 2 thin leeks), trimmed

4 to 5 tablespoons peanut oil (or other neutral oil)

A handful of small dried Asian chile peppers (optional)

Toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

For the vegetables and sauce: Peel ginger and turmeric (if using), and grate or mince. Chop or grate garlic. In a small bowl, whisk up sauce: ginger, garlic, turmeric, soy, Shaoxing rice wine (or sherry, sweet chili sauce, chili garlic sauce or sriracha), and sesame oil. Place cornstarch in small ramekin, to be mixed with water (later), to thicken the sauce.

Peel and chop carrot into thin matchsticks. Quarter pepper lengthwise, remove seeds, and thinly slice across. Cut the scallions, 1 inch, on bias.

Heat a large wok (or cast-iron or nonstick pan) over high heat with peanut oil, 2 turns of the pan. Cook beef in 2 batches (if necessary) to crisp, about 3 minutes each batch.

Add another turn of pan of oil and stir-fry the carrot, peppers, and Asian chiles (if using), and toss for a minute.

Add sauce to the pan. Add a splash of water to cornstarch and add to sauce to thicken.

Add beef and toss, then add half the scallions.

Transfer to bowl and top with remaining scallions and sesame seeds (if using).