cover image James McNair's Beef

James McNair's Beef

James McNair, Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books, $19.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-591-8

While some decry the consumption of red meat as a vice practiced by people with no concern for their physical well-being, health-conscious carnivores will appreciate McNair's (Chicken) book, if with certain reservations (devotees of Bearnaise sauce and 16-oz. portions may be disappointed, as the author recommends easily prepared dishes emphasizing lean cuts, reasonable portions and reduced fat). In recipes such as Louisiana meat pies, grilled steak fajitas and tangy beef salad, beef is used to flavor dishes, not dominate them. McNair relies on the combination of meat and spices--not heavy sauces--for flavor and texture. Cooks will find a wide range of recipes, from basic hamburger and meat loaf to corn-stuffed steak, convenient to assemble after one trip to the supermarket. The more complicated recipes require marinades prepared an evening or day in advance. Whether calling for broiling, baking or stir frying, McNair offers healthy, commonsense cooking tips for reducing fat and preparing tasty beef dishes. Photographs not seen by PW. (June)