Historically, English cooks have often paired their veal with fresh greenery and slightly acidic flavours. Sorrel was often the herb of choice, however, this recipe, adapted from Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for Private Families (1845), brings the veal together with the slightly more unusual ingredients of cucumber, lettuce and gooseberries.
Toss the veal in flour. Melt the butter in a frying pan or flameproof casserole dish. Add the veal and fry briskly until brown. Add the spring onions and gooseberries and continue to fry for a few minutes. Stir in any remaining flour, then add the stock, stirring well to make a sauce. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and a little pepper.
Cover well and simmer gently for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add the cucumber and lettuce. Cover and cook for a further 1 hour, or until the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked. Stir, check the seasoning, and garnish with a scattering of chopped chives. Serve with new potatoes.