This is my household’s first-choice Sunday roast. We eat the crisp salty crackling with our fingers, pull at its succulent flesh and are generally left feeling fully satisfied. If that makes us sound greedy then yes, we are when it comes to belly of pork and the recipe below reflects that in how many it serves. I have seen other recipes saying a similar size piece will serve 6 or even more. Not at my table, but the choice is yours.

This is a simple yet hearty salad of flavour contrasts: crisp fennel, smoky bacon, creamy burrata and tomatoes with a balsamic kick. They are all brought together with the smooth sweetness of basil to become a harmonious - and deeply satisfying - mix. Best served while the bacon and tomatoes still have some heat about them. Ciabatta is good to mop the juices up with. 

A super-quick dish with a lovely mix of flavours: fruity peach and rich black pudding, some fruit vinegar to cut through, and a shaving of cheese with a pepper lift to finish. 

French boudin noir or Spanish morcilla would work just as well as the British black pudding. Go for a cheese like the Innes brick at Neals Yard Dairy - something robust, smooth and little peppery.

 Try serving with crushed, buttered new potatoes and / or a red chicory and herb salad.

Samphire makes its appearance in Spring and while it is most often partnered with fish, its fresh flavour and vibrant colour is also really delicious with game meats or lamb.  This recipe uses venison from the sika breed of deer but choose whatever is available. The steaks are flash-fried in garlic, juniper and thyme just long enough to ensure the meat will be tenderly pink inside.; then the samphire is cooked in the same pan so it can take on more of the same flavours before being deglazed in a fruity vinegar.

There are a few reasons why these smaller baby back ribs (from where the pig’s rib meets the spine) are preferable to both cooking and eating the larger spareribs (from the belly side of the ribcage): they are more tender, often leaner and meartier, and need shorter cooking time. Crucially, though, you still get the very tangible, finger-licking pleasure of ripping the rib pairs apart to get at every morsel of sweet, juicy meat on those bones. 

The essential serving suggestion here is something for everyone to wipe their hands on. Maybe even a fingerbowl. These ribs are very sticky and all the better for it.

Deliciously, meltingly soft lambs hearts cooked in a way that takes inspiration from the Moorish influences of southern Spain.

The sweetness of the date / lemon / parsley stuffing and the sherry braising lifts the hearts out of the heaviness of the more traditional British recipes. My old cookery books tell me that cooking with lambs’ hearts wasn’t particularly unusual in England in the 1800s - but the fact they called it ‘Love in Disguise’ also reveals a quite charming squeamishness. 

Should you ever need to get hold of me on the first weekend in May, look first at the feria in a small seaside town just outside Jerez. You’ll most likely find me there drinking fino and eating tapas amongst a throng of the friendliest people in the world and to the incessant beat of the sevilliana. One of the local bars does a cracking cold tapas of sliced pork tenderloin wrapped in jamon, and so this way of cooking pork always reminds me of that. I’m styling it here for our chillier weather but the Spanish way is well worth keeping in the back of your mind for those first evenings when you can sit in the garden with a glass of something cold.