Cook the mushrooms first. In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently to prevent burning, for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
Put all of the peppercorns in a mortar and crush with a pestle. Alternatively, put all of the peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag, seal closed, and crush with a rolling pin or the flat side of a large knife blade. Spread the crushed peppercorns on a flat plate. (The black and green peppercorns should be mixed together well.) Season both sides of each steak with salt. One at a time, place the steaks on top of the crushed peppercorns, pressing down lightly so the peppercorns stick to the surface. Turn the steak over and repeat to coat the second side.
In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, place the steaks in the pan, decrease the heat to medium high, and cook for a total of 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Flip the steaks every 2 or 3 minutes for the best results (see Chef’s Tip, page 143). When the steaks are almost ready, reheat the mushrooms over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
When the steaks are done, transfer them to a platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for about 3 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. Add the shallot and sauté for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the brandy and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Pour in the cream and mix well. Simmer the sauce for about 1 minute, or until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Place 1 steak on each dinner plate. Spoon the cream sauce over the steaks, then top with the sautéed mushrooms, dividing them evenly. Serve at once.
When shopping for steak, note that sirloin steak is sometimes called New York steak. It is tender and best cooked medium-rare. Buttery mushrooms add luster to these steaks, which are guaranteed to please anyone with a craving for red meat. White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes (page 45) is the perfect side dish. A full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, completes the culinary tableau.
—From Simply Fresh: Casual Dining at Home by Jeff Morgan
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