From Good Housekeeping Healthy Eating, June 2000
Imagine biting into a 7-ounce filet mignon that has a mere 4 grams of fat instead of the usual 19—or a juicy 5-ounce burger with 6 fat grams instead of 20. Now you can have your meat and eat it too: Piedmontese beef is so lean that some cuts (like the New York Strip Steak) are even lower in fat and cholesterol than skinless chicken. This trim new choice originates from the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, where it's been bred for more than 100 years. The cattle are naturally leaner than their beefier, bulkier cousins and higher in protein-dense meat; they have a smaller bone structure with more muscle and less fat. The breed isn't genetically altered, or given growth hormones—it's just blessed with a leaner physique. And now Piedmontese cattle are raised in the United States, too, with the meat marketed and distributed (as [Montana Range BrandTM Piedmontese Beef]) through Ameri-Pied Beef. Two more big differences, in addition to the beefs nutritional profile: The price is about 25 to 30 percent higher than supermarket cuts, and the cooking time is approximately one third to one half shorter. (It's important not to overcook, or this lean beef can taste like shoe leather.) Ameri-Pied claims its products are tender and tasty, but we wanted to find out for ourselves that this wasn't another case of sacrificing fat for flavor. So 8 experts in the Good Housekeeping test kitchens compared Piedmontese and supermarket ground chuck patties, filet mignons, and cube steaks in a blind sampling. All cuts were cooked separately in a nonstick skillet with just 1 teaspoon olive oil.
The burgers were the favorite lean pick, praised for being less greasy and chewy than the store-bought patties. Filet mignons and cube steaks also made the cut for good flavor.
Still, it's not a perfect world, and with so many cuts to choose from, Piedmontese beef seems a fitting solution if you make watching fat and cholesterol a top priority.
Article © copyright 1998 Good Housekeeping Healthy Eating Magazine.