1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, 1 3/4 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme to a boil. Stir in the corn and cook until tender, 5 minutes for fresh, 1 minute for frozen. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until very thick, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter.
2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Sprinkle the steak with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Add the meat to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook to your taste, about 5 minutes longer for medium rare, depending on the thickness. Remove.
3. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon thyme, the wine, and the brandy and stir to dislodge any brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Boil until reduced to approximately 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 minutes. Slice the steak across the grain and on the diagonal. Serve the steak over a bed of corn polenta, with the sauce drizzled over all.
Wine Recommendation: Cabernet sauvignon goes well with red meat, which tames the tannic wine. One from Napa Valley is just the ticket here.