We’re not eating a whole lot of meat these days. Of course, that wasn’t exactly the plan when we went in for forty pounds of beef, followed a few months later with half a hog. It’s not that anybody around here had a big epiphany. The best I can explain is that there’s just a lot of competition these days from the local vegetables and legumes we’re getting. Some nights we’ll add a little beef or pork to whatever the main event is, and sometimes we go meatless. In any case it’s a lot less animal protein than we used to eat.

But yesterday was a warm spring day and last night we put a big, finely marbled prime rib steak on the grill, prepped with nothing more than salt and pepper. The steak came off rare and we ate it with a porcini risotto and shell peas, and with chard sauteed to melty tenderness. It was all really freakin’ tasty and then some, I decided, since we hadn’t enjoyed slab meat in a while.

Our chef friend Evan called just as we were finishing up. I mentioned that I’d had a food question earlier in the day, and he seemed upset that we hadn’t tried to reach him. It was the thick of his Sunday night dinner service, I pointed out. Given the time difference and all.

“I’m always available for emergency food consultation,” he said. He wasn’t amused.

So I asked my question even though we’d pretty well licked the plates clean, and learned that prime rib steak is rib eye with the bone left in. Well that explains it, I said. Why it was so delicious.

“Yup,” Evan said, sighing. “Best cut of the animal.”