I eat a Yorkshire pudding before our Sunday roast. They used to be about filling you up if you couldn't afford meat, before gastropubs got hold of them.


Makes 8

Plain flour
2 free-range eggs
Loads of pepper
About 1/2pint semi-skimmed milk
A little bit of water
Some lard


I use a bowl the size of half a football and fill it about a third of the way up with flour. Crack in the eggs. I do it a bit flashy, one handed. If a bit of shell goes in, all the better: it's like finding the sixpence in a Christmas pudding. Mix it so it's a stodgy lump. Add the pepper, then the milk, a tiny bit at a time, with a bit of water. You want a runny batter, like Guinness, with plenty of bubbles. Then leave it for a while. Put some lard in the tins, and when the joint is almost done, turn up the oven as high as it will go - you want the lard so hot you're worried your house will burn down. It should sizzle when you pour in the batter. Put them in the oven for 15 minutes (I like them almost black around the edges) and have them with really thick gravy made with the meat juices, stock cube and cornflour. And eat them before the roast.

Ian McMillan presents 'The Verb' on Radio 3, Saturdays at 9.30pm. National Poetry Day is 6 October