As much as I love a Sunday Roast, the thought of preparing one always fills me with dread and a tiny bit of fear. First of all you are dishing out a hefty amount of cash for a piece of meat and the chances of it going wrong (i.e. it being over or undercooked or you just generally messing up the timing) are sooo high.

Not such a big deal when I am just cooking for Mat and me. He is very forgiving! Pretty huge deal when I have five people round for dinner. As I didn't know when people were going to show up and I have one family member in particular that takes punctuality not too seriously, your usual beef, chicken etc. was a no-no. 

Then I came across this recipe and was immediately sold! Pork shoulder is one of the more affordable cuts and if cooked correctly produces the most succulent meat and beautiful crackling. It doesn't matter if it sits in the oven for a little longer or has to rest under a double layer of tin foil for an extra half an hour. The end result is seriously tender, fall apart meat and crunchy, bubbly crackling.

I simply served this with roast potatoes and bacon and rosemary red cabbage. Everyone loved it and I was a happy bunny!

So if you are a Sunday Roast novice this is one for you! Six hours in the oven you say? It might be a little more expensive on the electrics but hey the money you are saving on the cut of meat is a lot!


Etta xo

COOKS 6hrs

For the roast 
  • 2 kg shoulder of pork, bone-in, skin on  (Note: I used a cut without a bone as that is all I could get my hands on at the time. If you can, ideally, you'd get a cut with the bone still in but no big deal if you can't ;))
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper 
  •  2 red onions, halved 
  •  2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthways 
  •  2 sticks celery, halved 
  • 1 bulb garlic, skin on, broken into cloves 
  •  6-8 bay leaves 
  •  600 ml water or vegetable stock
  • 1 glass of red wine 
  • a dash of double cream
For the potatoes 
  • 12 good size roasting potatoes (I used King Edward), peeled and quartered and left in a bowl of water to rest
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • olive oil
For the red cabbage
  • 1 medium size red cabbage, outer leaves removed and finely shredded
  • 6 rashers of smoked bacon, diced
  • a knob of butter
  • a dash of red wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves only
  • 2tbsps brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 250ml beef or vegetable stock
For the apple sauce (you can also just buy a jar of this but I love making my own as it is so simple)
  • 4 Bramley cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • rind of half a lemon (just use a peeler to get this)
  • 2tsp sugar
  • dash of water

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220˚C.
  2. Place your pork on a clean work surface, skin-side up. If your pork hasn't been scored yet, get yourself a small sharp knife and make scores about a centimeter apart through the skin into the fat. Make sure not to cut into the meat.  If the joint has been tied already, make sure you don't cut into the string. If it hasn't been tied roll it tightly and tie using this technique. If you haven't done this before you might need a second pair of hands.
  3. Rub salt right into all the scores you've just made. Turn the roast around and season the underside with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tray skin side up and roast in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes until the skin starts to crisp up and just turn into crackling.
  4. Turn the oven down to 170˚C. Tightly cover the meat with two layers of tin foil and roast at the reduced temperature for four and a half hours.
  5. In the meantime you can prepare your cabbage. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Fry the bacon and the rosemary in the butter for about five minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Remove from the pot.
  6. Add the sugar to the butter and keep stirring until it starts to caramelise (you might have to add a little water if you feel it's getting too dark too quickly).
  7. After about 5-10 minutes add the cabbage and stir to cover it with the caramel. Cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften then mix in the bacon/rosemary and deglaze the pot with a dash of red wine vinegar. Careful this will be super hot and vinegary so avoid any deep breaths ;)
  8. Give it all a good stir, add the stock then turn the heat down to low/medium and cover with a lid. Leave to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring it occasionally to stop it from sticking. Once the cabbage is nice and tender you can turn off the heat and leave it until you are almost ready to serve.
  9. Once your meat has been in the oven for four and a half hours, baste it with the fat in the bottom of the tray, take it out carefully and place onto a chopping board.
  10. Pour out most of the fat (save for your roast potatoes) then place your carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves and garlic in the bottom of the tray and move them around a bit until the are coated in the pork fat. Place the pork on top of the vegetables and put back in the oven (without the tin foil this time) and roast for another hour.
  11. Drain your potatoes and generously season with salt and pepper. If you have enough fat from the roast pour that over the potatoes if not drizzle generously with olive oil. Give it all a good stir and place onto a roasting tray. Once your pork has another 15 minutes left in the oven place the potatoes on the rack below your roast and cook for 45minutes until the potatoes are crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle.
  12. For your apple sauce, put your diced apples into a bottom heavy sauce pan with a dash of water and the lemon rind. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are falling apart and are the consistency of a compote. Mix in the sugar and take out the lemon rind, then leave to rest until you are ready to serve.
  13. When the pork is cooked, take out of the oven, place onto a serving platter, cover with two layers of tin foil and leave to rest while you make the gravy and your potatoes finish roasting. At this point you might want to start heating up your cabbage again.
  14. Spoon away any fat in the tray, then place the roasting tray onto your hob over a medium/high heat. Add the glass of wine and deglaze the tray, making sure you get all the lovely brown bits. Leave to simmer for a minute or so then add your stock/water. Simmer for a further five minutes then, using a stick blender roughly blend the veg. You don't want a puree but want to break everything up a little. Our blender has a life of its own and splashes everywhere so you might want to transfer everything to a large bowl. Pour everything through a sieve into a good size saucepan, pushing through the soft veggies. Place onto a medium heat and leave to simmer for a few minutes until the gravy starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and add a dash of cream.
  15. Well and now I guess you are ready to serve. You can either slice the pork or just pull it apart. I know this is a long old post and looks like a lot of work but as far as roasts go this is easy-peasy and worth every single hour. Enjoy!


Most people don't know this, but a long time ago I studied towards a degree in Fashion Photography. While my career has taken me into a very different direction, some of the photographers I came across while a student are still some of my favourites. The first photographer I fell in love with was Sarah Moon and I developed a soft spot for large format Polaroids. Then came along Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino. Not to forget Mario Sorrenti and his amazing recreations of impressionist paintings. My final major project was heavily inspired by all of the above, in equal measures.

But the one photographer I keep going back to and who never ceases to amaze me is Paolo Roversi. I am in absolute awe of the eerie, dreamlike fairytales he creates with every photograph he shoots. I used to save my pennies and venture to the newsagent to buy my monthly fix of Italian Vogue. Followed by hours of leafing through and analysing Roversi's photo stories.

More recently, while I was reading the Night Circus (one of my favourite books) I realised how much Roversi's aesthetic genius stayed embedded in my mind. All the magical, dark and mysterious scenes of this marvel of a book played in a Paolo Roversi inspired film in my head.

So if you ask me who my favourite photographer of all times is I will say with full confidence and no hesitation - Paolo Roversi.


Image Credits
01_Natalia Vodianova from back, Paris, 2003  
02_Vogue Italia, September 2011
03-05_Family Circus, W Magazine, December 2010
06_A Dream of a Dress, Vogue Italia Supplement, September 2009
07_Vogue Italia, September 2011
08_Kirsten Owen for Romeo Gigli, 1989


You might want to sit down for this one. I would... because this combo is mind-blowing!

This most scrumptious breakfast/brunch delight includes fluffy American pancakes, bacon aaaaand salted caramel apple compote. Are you in heaven yet? The good news is that you'll have plenty of salted caramel left over to have with ice cream or drizzle over cupcakes as well as more than enough apple compote to have with your breakfast porridge or yoghurt.

Just don't tell the diet your on at the moment. It might not be too happy about it ;)

We are essentially making three recipes here and just throwing them together into one heavenly combination. Beware this is a hefty old breakfast and will probably last you all day!

Enjoy and thank me later!

Etta xo

COOKS 30mins


For the pancakes
  • 3 large eggs (ideally free-range)
  • 115 g plain flour 
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder  
  • 140 ml milk  
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1tbsp sugar
 For the apple compote
  • 5 medium size bramley cooking apples, cored, peeled and diced (you can use any apple really)
  • 2-3tbsps salted caramel sauce (I used this recipe)
  • dash of water
  • 8 rashers of bacon
  • a drizzle of maple syrup (optional) 

  1. First make your apple compote. Place the diced apples in a heavy bottom saucepan over a medium to high heat, add a dash of water and cover with a lid. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. 
  2. Add the salted caramel sauce and give it all a good stir. Continue cooking for a further 10-15 minutes or until the apples have completely disintegrated and you are left with a lovely smooth compote. If you wish to store the apple compote for a little while, place it into a sterilised jar and close the lid. (this is how you sterilise jars). If you are planning to use the apple sauce fairly quickly you can just keep it in a tupperware in the fridge.
  3. Now to the pancakes. Separate the eggs, placing the egg yolks in one bowl and the whites into another. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk (by hand or using an electric mixer) until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.
  4. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, baking powder, flour and milk until you have a smooth batter. Now fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mix.
  5. Turn on the grill and leave to heat up. Lay your bacon onto a baking tray and once hot grill until the bacon is lovely and crisp. Make sure you flip the bacon half way through. This'll take about 10-15 minutes but depends on the power of your grill. 
  6. Heat a non stick pan over a medium heat (I usually add a tiny bit of coconut oil, or any neutral oil, but you can just use the magic of non stick). Pour a ladle-full of your batter into the hot pan, spread out with the back of your ladle and cook your pancake for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown. I did large pancakes, so we ended up with 2 each but feel free to make smaller pancakes if you prefer. Continue cooking until all your batter is gone. 
  7. Now we get to assembly point. Place a pancake onto a plate top with a dollop of your apple sauce then the bacon and drizzle with a little maple syrup (ooooor if you want to go wild add a little of your salted caramel sauce... I dare you!). Top this with another pancake and repeat the bacon apple compote procedure. 
  8. Then attack!!!


Do you ever get an overwhelming desire for something... whether that be food related or the "need" to visit a particular place. My current desire is for cake and if you know me you'll know we are not talking about a gateaux or a torte or a heavily iced cupcake... all I want is a simple, moist and spongy pound cake. Boring you say?! Well if that means I can get some pound cake (ideally marble) I don't care if I am boring. ;)

Here are my current favourites and I plan to bake them all... muahahaha! 

Etta xo

  1 // 2 // 3 // 4
For more inspiration, inside and outside the food department, you can follow me here


I have been raving about this loaf for the past few weeks. Well more like banging on about it. I don't think there are any of my friends and family left that have not heard about this amazingly fantabulous loaf. Yup, Mat's been praising it like mad as well, so everyone's heard this at least twice. 

And here I am again... telling everyone how amazing it is. Those of you who have heard it before - sorry! (I'm not really!)

If any of you have set yourself the challenge and New Year's resolution of baking your own bread and failed miserably because you just can't face the whole kneading and proofing business, this is the bread for you. It's not dense and full on like other "quick-fix" breads (this one I made was one such bread which I loved but others found a bit too hard to handle), it's moist and fluffy on the inside and has a beautiful crust. There are hardly any ingredients and in comparison to the £1.50 you would usually spend on a shop bought loaf (or lots more on organic loafs from your local bakery) this bread will only cost you pennies. 

Using white flour gives you an airy consistency with a thin, crispy crust, similar to the bread you get at your favourite Italian, whereas using wholemeal flour will create a slightly denser, more substantial dough with more bite and stronger flavours, similar to an Irish soda bread (without the soda flavour).

You must try this! I am also planning to experiment with gluten free flour as well as using a sourdough starter instead of yeast. Let's see where that takes me. I will most certainly share the results. 

Thanks to James at Bleubird Blog for posting this recipe in her Weekly Bread series.

Etta xo

MAKES approx. 1 x 700g loaf
RESTING 12-18hrs
COOKS 45mins

  • 3 cups (400-450g) plain flour or strong white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (300ml) water

  1. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Add the water and roughly combine everything with a wooden spoon until the mix resembles a dough. 
  2. Cover the bowl with cling film and a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm-ish place for 12-18 hours but don't worry if it rests longer. You can mix it in the evening and then bake it the next morning or even leave it until you come back from work in the evening. 
  3. Heavily flour a clean work surface (I mean a very generous handful of flour). Place your dough in the middle of the surface and form a ball by tucking the dough under itself. Make sure your dough is covered in flour. If it sticks to the surface add a little more flour. Cover the dough with cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes. 
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C) and place a good size cast iron pot in it to heat up. If, like us, you don't own one of these beauties a large stainless steel pot with a lid or even an enamel pot will do the job beautifully.
  5. Once your bread has rested for 30 minutes, take out the hot pot from the oven and carefully place the bread into it. You don't need to grease the pot, the bread won't stick and will come out no problem at all. Put the lid on the pot and place the bread in the hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes. 
  6. After 30 minutes take the lid off and bake the bread for a further 15 minutes. Depending on your oven your bread might need a little more or less. Have a look at the crust if it's a beautiful golden brown and not too springy to the touch it should be done.
  7. Take the bread out of the oven and leave to rest on a cooling rack or just cut into it, smother in butter and devour!
After a few days simply give your bread a fresh breath of life by toasting or grilling it. Super yum! And once it's gone a little stale it is the perfect bread to use for Panzanella. Oh it's just an all-rounder ;)