Black Pepper Cube Steaks with Mushroom Cream Sauce


4 cube steaks
3 -4 tablespoons cracked black pepper (Please use McCormick’s Cracked Black Pepper or equivalent, regular black pepper is NOT workable here)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soft butter
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (the Italian brown ones, or use small portabellas)
1 shallot, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon basil, chopped (fresh only or it won’t taste the same)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter

1 Season both sides of the cube steaks with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
2 Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over med-high heat.
3 Saute the steaks for 4 minutes, then turn and finish cooking for 3 more minutes or until done to your liking. Move steaks to a plate and cover with foil.
4 Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over med-high heat and loosen any stuck bits of meat with a spatula.
5 When hot, add the shallots and mushrooms with a loose attempt to keep them in a single layer as much as possible. Don’t stir for the first 2 minutes to give them a chance to caramelize on one side, then stir periodically for another minute or two until mushrooms are deep golden brown.
6 Add the minced garlic and saute until it becomes soft, about one minute.
7 Add the cream and the steak juice from the cube steak plate and reduce the mixture by one-third. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8 Finally, add the basil, stir briefly, then plate the steaks with a generous portion of sauce on top.