Cumberland Sausage with Onion 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!

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 UK region 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 Cumberland sausage recipe is an extension of that.

A traditional Cumberland sausage is unlinked and sold by length or as in this recipe sold and cooked coiled.

Flavour wise this sausage should be spicy! 

Despite a salacious reputation for bland food we Brits are fond of spice and have been for a very long time.

Cumberland sausage recipes 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 the video up top. 

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 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 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!

What To Serve With Cumberland Sausage?

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 pork with prune recipe.

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!
Cumberland Sausage with Onion Gravy

Cumberland Sausage with Onion Gravy

Yield: 4
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!

Ingredients

For the Cumberland Sausage:

  • 1.5 kg 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 Breadcrumbs
  • 50 ml Water
  • 2.5 m Natural Sausage Skins

For the Onion Gravy:

  • 250 g Onion
  • 15 g Beef Dripping or Lard
  • 25 g Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 400 ml Beef Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp English Mustard
  • Salt, To taste

For the Mashed Potato:

  • 1 Kg Potato
  • 100 g Butter
  • 50 g Cream
  • Salt, To taste

For the Peas:

  • 250 g Frozen Peas

Instructions

For the Cumberland 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 Onion 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 Mashed Potato:

  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.

Notes

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:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 1303 Total Fat: 67g Saturated Fat: 32g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 29g Cholesterol: 265mg Sodium: 4261mg Carbohydrates: 104g Fiber: 12g Sugar: 13g Protein: 72g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Readers Comments

21 thoughts on “Cumberland Sausage with Onion Gravy”

    • Now that’s a challenge… Pork works so well in sausage because of the fat content, having said that you can make sausages with anything that you want. The flavours in a traditional Cumberland sausage would work well with chicken, although not so much with beef or lamb, but you would need to add in some fat to stop them drying out. I have never tried it but I think my first choice would be a little beef tallow or dripping depending where you are from. It will add a meaty flavour and moisten the sausage, just mince it with the chicken, I’d suggest thighs and I’d probably start at around 10% of the weight of the chicken.

      HAve an experiment, I’d love to hear how you get on!

      Brian

  1. Hi Brian, I like your post very much (as I always do), and decided to by a proper meat grinder with a sausage maker. Can you help me which brand I should go for? Did you buy yours here in Hungary?

    • Hey Eva, good to hear from you… Yes, I bought my meat grinder here in Hungary, I have burned through 3 in 10 years. The first two were name brand and really rather expensive and neither made it beyond 18 months, the third was a “no name” brand from Mediamarkt and is still going strong and is now in its 6th or 7th year. It cost less than 10,000 huf. Make of that what you will.

  2. Hi Brian, Sawas dee pee mai from Thailand.
    Counted 4 jokes 🙂
    Serious Q. I looked in Broadstairs, Redditch, Reddish and other Greater Manchester areas but drew a blank on Mace. You have much greater experience than Moi so :-
    Can I boost the Nutmeg in place of Mace do you think ? I expect at the worst it will be Cumberland ä la Paul but ? 🙂

    • Hey Paul… Boldog új évet back at ya from Hungary. Mace has a slightly more ‘pungent’ flavour than nutmeg so you could increase the amount of nutmeg and get a decent approximation although you could go left field and stick some freshly ground allspice in there which is something I often add into sausages instead of mace and it works wonderfully.

  3. I had to jump over here when I saw this on FB. I love the way that sausage looks int he pan. And the instructional video is great. A delicious way to start the year. 🙂

    • Thanks Valentina, I had a real giggle making this over Christmas, I love making sausages and this really is the food of my yoof!

  4. This dish is so quintessentially British and is the ultimate comfort food. I love Cumberland sausage and that onion gravy looks SO good.

  5. I am now super motivated to make my own sausage. What fun it would be! I need to get me a meat grinder though. Love how easy you made this look Brian.

    • It really is that easy, it takes a little longer on your first try but it is not that complicated at all. As far as I am concerned a meat grinder is one of the most important gadgets in my kitchen, grund meat from the store or butcher is always pretty ropey.

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