cook's illustrated crispy orange beef

cook\'s illustrated crispy orange beef
1 1/2 lbs beef flap meat
1 tbsp soy sauce
6 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp dry sherry
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 cups vegetable oil
2 tbsp frying oil
1/4 cup orange zest
sliced thin with pith
1 whole jalapeno
stemmed, seeded, and sliced thin lengthwise
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 whole scallions
sliced thin on a bias
steamed rice
Because of the multiple steps and all the ingredients involved, this recipe isn't the simplest to prepare, but it sure is tasty. And even though it's fried, the beef doesn't absorb as much oil as you would think. Adapted from the 2013 Jan-Feb issue of Cook's Illustrated.
Kick off the rice cooker. Clear out enough space in the freezer to fit a baking sheet. Set the wire rack inside of the baking sheet.
Cut the beef into 3-inch by 1/2-inch pieces. Do this by first cutting the beef, along the grain, into pieces that are 3-inches wide. Then slice it horizontally through the middle into 1/2-inch thick slices. Last, cut these slices into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Transfer the strips to a bowl.
Toss the beef with the soy sauce, then add the cornstarch and toss until coated. Chill the beef and on the wire rack in the freezer for about 45 minutes until the beef is firm but not frozen.
Whisk together the soy sauce, orange juice, molasses, sherry, vinegar, and sesame oil.
Bring the oil to 375F over medium heat, then add a third of the beef. Stir to prevent sticking. Fry for about 1 minute and 30 seconds until golden brown, then transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat for the other 2 batches of beef.
Transfer 2 tablespoons of the frying oil to the skillet. Warm over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the orange peel and jalapeno. Cook for about 1.5-2 minutes until the orange peel is golden brown.
Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 45 seconds until the garlic has browned. Stir frequently.
Add the soy sauce mixture. Deglaze and reduce for about 45 seconds. Sauce should thicken slightly.
Add the beef and scallions and toss. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
Verify that the baking sheet will fit inside the freezer with the door shut. My freezer was so small that I had to use 2 smaller baking sheets in order to close the door.