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Homemade Cumberland Sausage with Onion Gravy

A glorious homemade Cumberland Sausage is the star of this very British bangers and mash recipe that comes with an onion gravy recipe to boot.

Spicy with black pepper and heady with sage, mace and nutmeg this curled sausage is a real crowd pleaser.

A glorious made from scratch coiled Cumberland Sausage is the star of this very British bangers and mash recipe that also has a kick ass onion gravy!

What Is Cumberland Sausage?

You will be surprised to hear that it is a sausage from the British county of Cumbria! 

Us Brits are rather fond of a good sausage. One of the first things I taught myself to make when we moved to Hungary was a good British Homemade sausage.

This sausage recipe is an extension and refinement of that.

Traditionally this sausage is unlinked and sold by length or as in this recipe sold and cooked coiled.

Flavourwise this sausage should be spicy! Despite a slanderous reputation for bland food we Brits are fond of spice and have been for a very long time.

Cumberland sausages date back 500 years and as far back as the 18th Century they have been synonymous with spice.

In particular black pepper, nutmeg and mace!

A glorious made from scratch coiled Cumberland Sausage is the star of this very British bangers and mash recipe that also has a kick ass onion gravy!

How To Make Sausages At Home.

Sausages have a bad reputation for containing all sorts of crap and when it comes to cheaper sausages it is a well-deserved rep.

But the process of making sausages is simple as you can see from my video. 

The greatest plus point of making your own sausages is knowing what is in them.

It is not a case of making them ‘lean’ as all sausages need a reasonable fat content.

But instead, it is a matter of making sure that you are not eating the crap that your ‘supermarket’ or butcher cannot get rid of any other way!

I am no advocate of kitchen gadgets and comparatively speaking my kitchen is sparse on that front. But a meat grinder is an absolute must-have tool as far as I am concerned.

Of course another great positive of making your own sausages at home are the giggles! 

Seriously if you are not making childish and puerile jokes as you go then you are a better person than me.

A glorious made from scratch coiled Cumberland Sausage is the star of this very British bangers and mash recipe that also has a kick ass onion gravy!

How To Prepare Sausage Skins.

The most important part of this Cumberland sausage recipe is to buy the right sausage skins.

Ensure that you buy natural sausage skins rather than manufactured sausage skins which are nothing short of nasty!

After that, it is a simple case of rinsing the salt off them. Then soaking in room temperature water for 45 minutes to an hour.

You can do this whilst you prepare your ingredients and grind your pork.

Then give them another rinse and transfer to some fresh water whilst you thread onto the sausage stuffing nozzle.

If the skins feel a little rigid increase the temperature of the soaking water a little. It will help soften it up a little but do not go too hot!

A glorious made from scratch coiled Cumberland Sausage is the star of this very British bangers and mash recipe that also has a kick ass onion gravy!

Serving Suggestions.

There is no discussion to be had on this! 

The most quintessentially British way to serve sausage is as part of Bangers and Mash. 

That is sausages and mashed potato, this must be accompanied by onion gravy. Failure to do so will result in incarceration in the Tower of London.

I wrote at some length about mashed potato in my recent guide to mashed potatoes.

I will not rehash my thoughts, other than to reiterate, butter/cream at varying amounts depending on texture required. Everything else is over-egging the pudding.

The last, but far from the least, thing to mention is the onion gravy. 

Mine is very similar to the gravy I use in my faggots and mash recipe.

But I switch from tomato puree in that recipe to mustard in this recipe to keep the spice theme running.

You can increase/decrease the amount of flour in this recipe to change the thickness of your gravy.

A glorious made from scratch coiled Cumberland Sausage is the star of this very British bangers and mash recipe that also has a kick ass onion gravy!
Yield: Serves 4

Homemade Cumberland Sausage Recipe with Onion Gravy

Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

A glorious made from scratch coiled Cumberland Sausage is the star of this very British bangers and mash recipe that also has a kick ass onion gravy!


For the Sausage:

  • 1.5 kg (3lb 6 oz) Pork Blade
  • 5 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 3 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp White Pepper
  • 4 Tsp Dried Sage
  • 1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Mace
  • 1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 150 g (1 1/3 Cup) Dried Breadcrumbs
  • 50 ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Water
  • 2.5 m Natural Sausage Skins

For the Gravy:

  • 250 g (1 2/3 Cup) Onion
  • 15 g (1 Tbsp) Beef Dripping or Lard
  • 30 g (2 Tbsp) Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 400 ml (1 2/3 Cup) Beef Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp English Mustard
  • Salt, To taste

For the Mash:

  • 1 Kg (2 lb 3 oz) Potato
  • 100 g (1/4 Cup + 3 Tbsp) Butter
  • 50 g (1/4 Cup) Cream
  • Salt, To taste

For the Peas:

  • 250 g (1.5 Cups) Frozen Peas


For the Sausage:

  1. Soak your sausage skins as per the packet instructions.
  2. Pour the water into the breadcrumbs and set aside.
  3. Take the pork and cut it into large chunks, then either chop into a 5mm dice or grind in a meat grinder with a 5-8mm plate.
  4. Add the seasoning to the pork along with the breadcrumbs and combine them together.
  5. Thread the sausage skins onto a sausage nozzle, ensuring you make appropriately childish jokes.
  6. Fill the sausage skins tying off at the start and finish.
  7. Curl a sausage to the same size as your cooking pan, this recipe will make two large sausage spirals so freeze one for another time.
  8. Place a sausage spiral in cast iron pan or heavy based pan and roast in the oven at 200°C or 400°F for 25 minutes.

For the Gravy:

  1. Heat the dripping or lard in a pan and add the sliced onion, this is best done without using a non stick pan
  2. Cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. When the onions are a nice rich colour add the butter and the flour and stir.
  4. Pour in the beef stock and add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard, stir and simmer for 10 minutes.

For the Mash:

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes to an even size and then bring to a boil in well-salted water.
  2. Boil for 25-30 minutes and then allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
  3. Gently heat the cream.
  4. Either mash or pass your potatoes through a potato ricer, I prefer the latter.
  5. Add the warmed cream and butter then stir being careful not to overwork.

For the Peas:

  1. Boil your frozen peas for 2-3 minutes in salted water.


This recipe will make two 24cm Cumberland sausage spirals.

They freeze wonderfully and can also be broken down into single link sausages although a traditional Cumberland sausage is sold by length rather than in links.

The calorific value of this recipe refers to a single portion of the sausage, mash and onion gravy meal and not the extra sausages we get to freeze up!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1303Total Fat: 67gSaturated Fat: 32gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 265mgSodium: 4261mgCarbohydrates: 104gFiber: 12gSugar: 13gProtein: 72g

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Monday 29th of March 2021

I have rusk that I've made and froze. Do you know if I should use same measurement of rusk for breadcrumbs?

Brian Jones

Monday 5th of April 2021

Hi Cheryl...

Sorry it has taken a while to come back to you, I have been on a little break... It is really difficult to tell, rusk is usually formulated to "absorb" and hold a specific amount of moisture, rusk for cheap sausage is formulated to hold more moisture. I'm not sure where that leaves homemade rusk, I would try frying off a fairly large pattie of sausage meat and allow it to cool a little then have a taste for texture and moisture retention.

Tasting is the best part.

Enjoy Brian.

Sandra Wilson

Monday 1st of March 2021

The recipe calls for breadcrumbs but I'm not sure if they are dried or fresh. Can you let me know?

Brian Jones

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Sorry Sandra, yes they are dried, I will update the recipe later today.

joe pulkowski

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

I made this today, I love the balance of the spices, but I will cut the salt in half next time, my Mother taught me when making sausage, add the spices, mix, make a little patty and fry, then add more spice if needed before stuffing.

Brian Jones

Wednesday 27th of January 2021

Glad you liked it, testing is a hint in my other two sausage recipes, no idea why it is not in here, it's the best part of sausage making, I'll add it back in :D


Monday 17th of August 2020

I found this looking for a seasoning recipe. Looks great and one of these days I will make an attempt. Regarding mash, here in Northern Ireland we would often want scallion champ with our sausages. With lots of butter. We’ll save the Ulster Fry discussion for another day.

Brian Jones

Saturday 29th of August 2020

I love making my own sausages, and this is one of my favourite versions so I hope you try it sometime. I like both champ and colcannon but less so with me bangers lol. As for the Ulster fry, I could live off black pudding, potato bread and soda bread so I am all in!

Barbara Gilbert

Saturday 1st of February 2020

Hi, I live in the USA and am not familiar with the meat cut in your list of ingredients. Is pork blade like pork shoulder or butt? My husband makes sausage from the venison he gets while hunting but I’d rather follow your recipe for sausages. Thank you!

joe pulkowski

Tuesday 23rd of March 2021

@Barbara Gilbert, when making sausage I use the best value that day, sometimes its picnic roast, sometimes a pork shoulder, sometimes pork chops are on sale at BJ's and I use them. Fresh Pork is still reasonably priced, so for $1.25 or $2 per pound you can make sausage you would have to pay $8+ / pound

Brian Jones

Monday 3rd of February 2020

Hey Barbara, the blade is part of the shoulder, it is the tope part near the neck and it has the most wonderful fat. You can use regular shoulder and if it is not fatty enough add a bit of belly.

Have fun :)

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