Offa's Dyke leads me home: Part 2

Offa's Dyke leads me home: Part 2

By Adventure Pedlars

Following on from Part 1....

Packing the stove away we set off before getting cold and soon entered a majestic valley landscape that traced Gilwern Brook along the old drovers roads. Hitting just the right balance between technical riding and covering good distance, crossing streams on sandy trails in wild open country it felt like we could have been anywhere in the world just then... Soon enough though we were faced with the typical trials of a british agricultural landscape as, whilst skirting a grassy field the trail disappeared into a muddy quagmire of trench warfare-like proportions, churned up by overuse in a wet environment the ground sucked at our tires grinding us to a halt. Knee deep, we were forced to trudge around, cursing the route as we forced our heavy loads onwards at a snail's pace.

Eventually we re-emerged onto open moorland and picked up an almost unperceivable trail bobbing its way across the heather as the arch of a dramatic rainbow began to form overhead. The route climbed us further into the moreland up gritty, muddy tracks and soon there was nowhere left to climb to. Surveying the landscape below us in the late afternoon dusk we made a plan to head for Glasbury where Jake, now approaching home turf, knew of a fishing hut we could probably bivi at. Darkness closed in as we clattered down leafly alleyways towards the Wye Valley floor. Our light beams creating a mesmerizing tunnel-vision effect as we concentrated on dodging obstacles appearing out of nowhere. The trail spits us out, covered in mud and dripping wet, onto the tarmac and we go in search of a place to warm up

The River Cafe in Glasbury looked far too clean an establishment for the likes of us but nevertheless we were beckoned in and welcomed to make ourselves comfortable huddling around a radiator nursing our pints and multiple bags of crisps. Kayaks stacked up outside it seemed that they were entirely used to dripping customers.

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Bulgar Wheat and quinoa with chorizo and veggies

This is a versatile dish which can be made from a whole variety of different ingredients. We chose Bulgar wheat and quinoa mix for the base as it packs down very small for ease of transportation.

1 pack Summit Salami Chorizo flavour

1 red pepper

1 clove garlic

1/2 onion

1 courgette

1 tsp Ras el Hanout

250g Bulgar wheat, quinoa, couscous or similar

500ml Water

1 chicken or veggie stock cube

Salt to taste

Lemon juice (optional)

  1. Dice chorizo and veggies into rough chunks (this can be done previously at home and then bagged up).

  2. Place a pan on the heat and add the diced chorizo, cook this slowly for around 3-5 minutes until the fat has rendered out of the chorizo and is coating the base of the pan.

  3. Next add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat for a few minutes until the onions become translucent, stir frequently to prevent them burning on the bottom.

  4. Add the ras el hanout and cook for a further minute.

  5. Add the grains and then the water and stock cube, bring to a simmer and cook until soft. If it gets too dry add a touch more water.

  6. Season to taste and enjoy.

Home made Bacon

What could be better than a big juicy homemade bacon bap on a wet and windy welsh hillside? This one requires a bit of forward planning but is well worth the effort. Traditionally bacon would have been cured in autumn and would last all winter long, either hung up in the chimney to smoke or left ‘Green’ in the larder. A far cry from the flaccid, watery mess that gets sold on supermarket shelves, this is a recipe for real dry cured Bacon.

2kg of boned Pork, either belly (streaky) or Loin (Back). Make sure to look for free range or RSPCA assured.

Coarse sea salt

Brown sugar

Black pepper

Fennel seeds

1 orange zest

2 tsp Celery powder

  1. Place the pork into a suitably sized dish. Mix together the Salt, Brown sugar, Pepper, Fennel, orange zest and celery powder. Cover the pork with around half of the cure, making sure every surface is well covered. Reserve the leftover cure.

  2. Cling film the pork and place in the fridge.

  3. The following day drain off the liquid in the bottom of the dish, sprinkle with a little more cure, turn and place back in the fridge. Repeat this for around 3 days for belly and 4 for the loin. The pork should be noticeably firmer to the touch.

  4. Remove the pork and rinse off any remaining cure. Pat dry with paper towel and wrap in a clean cloth or tea towel and place back in the fridge for at least 2 days, this will allow the salt to even itself throughout the meat.

  5. The bacon is now ready for use, it’s best to leave it whole and slice it on the trail for a doorstop bacon butty.

  6. Tip: Toast the bread in the leftover cooking juices from the pan for an extra flavour boost.

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