We had never seen nor heard of 'stewed cucumber' before coming across this odd dish and couldn't quite imagine how it would turn out. Well, we can't say that we liked it too much by itself; the concoction was a little gloopy and salty for our taste.
However, when served with our Roast Neck of Lamb from the same book (which specifically requests for stewed cucumber to be served around the lamb), the dish is transformed. It really does bring some added flavour to a good piece of meat.
Original Recipe: 'Stewed Cucumber' (Book 5, 1936)
Speed: 30 mins | Serves: Enough for about 4
1 large cucumber
¾ pint brown stock
Salt and pepper
1. Pare the cucumbers and cut into pieces about 3 inches long. Then, cut these into halves, lengthways, and take out the seeds. Dry the pieces well using a cloth or kitchen roll.
2. Melt the butter in a stewpan and lay the pieces of cucumber in. Fry until a pale golden colour, then lift the pieces out.
3. Stir the flour into the butter, fry together for a minute or two, and then gradually stir in the stock. Bring this to the boil and then add back in the cucumber and simmer until they are tender (about 15 minutes).
4. Taste, and if the stock is not found to be flavoured enough, add salt and pepper to taste.
5. When done, carefully lift the cucumber out and lay this on a hot vegetable dish. Pour the gravy over and serve.
Original Recipe for 'Stewed Cucumber'
'BOOK 5': Cookery Illustrated and Household Management (1936)
By: Elizabeth Craig
Publisher: Odhams Press Limited (Long Acre, London, W.C.2, England, U.K.)