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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 ring is a real crowd-pleaser.

Overhead cooked Cumberland sausage ring with onion gravy, peas and mash.

Homemade Cumberland Ring

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.

Flavour wise 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!

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.

Onion gravy being poured over a piece of Cumberland sausage ring with peas and mash.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these sausages in advance?

Yes, sausages will be fine in the fridge for the same period of time as the raw pork. Be aware that the act of making sausage does not “reset” this timer!

Sausages will freeze without much deterioration for up to 2 months. They well still be edible after this but the fall off in terms of flavour and texture will likely increase.

Can I turn these sausages into links or make smaller Cumberland rings?

Yes, absolutely!

Can I use store-bought minced pork?

At a push yes, but it will likely not be as coarse as it would be if you mince it yourself. This will lead to a much “smoother” sausage, which is not to my personal taste.

Can I make “low-fat” sausages?

In theory yes, but they would not be great in my opinion, the fat, both in terms of quantity and quality really is the defining factor of a good sausage!

Are natural or collagen skins best for homemade sausages?

It’s natural all the way for me, I am not keen on the texture of collagen skins at all!

What type of sausage skins should I buy?

I use pig or hog skins in this Cumberland sausage recipe.

How do I prepare sausage skins?

The skins that you buy will come with instructions, most involve soaking for a period of time.

You can even buy sausage skins loaded on a spool which makes threading them onto your sausage stuffer much easier. It does remove some of the childish fun though!

Close up cooked Cumberland sausage ring in a cast iron pan.

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 with onion gravy

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.

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 if you are looking for something a bit different you could portion these and links and serve them in a sausage and apple casserole, toad in the hole or a personal favourite, a sausage sandwich!

Cooked Cumberland sausage ring with onion gravy, peas and mash.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section of the recipe.

Equipment to Make the Sausages:

  • Meat grinder with sausage stuffing attachments.
  • Large mixing bowl.
  • Weghing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.

Equipment to Cook Bangers and Mash with Onion Gravy:

  • Oven.
  • Stovetop.
  • 25-28cm 10-11″ heavy-based frying pan or skillet, I use a cast iron skillet.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan to boil the potatoes.
  • 18cm or 7″ saucepan for the gravy.
  • 15cm or 6″ saucepan for the peas.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Vegetable peeler.
  • Colander.
  • Potato ricer or masher.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
Homemade Cumberland sausage ring roasted in a cast iron pan, with gravy peas and mash.
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:

  • 1½ kg (3lb 6 oz) Pork Blade
  • 5 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 3 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp White Pepper
  • 4 Tsp Dried Sage
  • 1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ Tsp Ground Mace
  • ½Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 150g (1⅓ Cup) Dried Breadcrumbs
  • 50ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Water
  • 2½ m Natural Sausage Skins

For the Gravy:

  • 250g (1⅔ Cup) Onion
  • 15g (1 Tbsp) Beef Dripping or Lard
  • 30g (2 Tbsp) Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 400ml (1⅔ Cup) Beef Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp English Mustard
  • Salt, To taste

For the Mash:

  • 1 Kg (2 lb 3 oz) Potato
  • 100g (¼ Cup + 3 Tbsp) Butter
  • 50g (¼ Cup) Cream
  • Salt, To taste

For the Peas:

  • 250g (1½ 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. Cut the pork into large chunks, then mince it in a meat grinder with a coarse 5-8mm (¼ or larger) 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 them 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 a 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. Peel and cut the onions into a 1cm (½") thick half moon shapes.
  2. Heat the dripping or lard in a pan and add the sliced onion, this is best done without using a nonstick pan
  3. Cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. When the onions are a nice rich colour add the butter and the flour and stir.
  5. 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!

Da id carrington

Thursday 14th of September 2023

Don't forget should be a very coarse grind for the meat!

Brian Jones

Sunday 1st of October 2023

I do give a plate size for the grinding in the recipe :)


Wednesday 7th of June 2023

is Tsp a Tablespoon or tsp a teaspoon?

Brian Jones

Wednesday 7th of June 2023

Tsp is Teaspoon, Tbsp is Tablespoon.



Friday 19th of August 2022

Answering my own questions below, generally, with "yes".

The results were wonderful BUT. They were excessively peppery - to the point my wife stopped eating.

Now, this is maybe because that's how you meant it. Or it could be the cook's error.

Thoughts, other than making another batch?

Brian Jones

Friday 19th of August 2022

Hi Keith...

Glad you liked them, they are indeed peppery, although no one has commented on them being excessively peppery before there are 3 teaspoons of pepper to 5 teaspoons of salt, so pokey but not out of the way on a ratio.

The only thing that I can think of is that store-bought "powdered" pepper will add more pepper than coarse freshly ground pepper? I have updated my recipe to note that I use freshly ground black pepper.

If you like them make them again, but scale back the pepper by a third and use two teaspoons instead. Also white pepper can be a bit fierce and less fragrant to some tastes so maybe reduce that too?

Thanks for the feedback :)



Saturday 16th of July 2022

Hi Brian... I"m about ready to start. - I'm guessing 32-35m casings? - I think I should trim the meat of large clumps of fat, but not go too far? - Using US "Boston Butt" which I think must be the equivalent of Blade.



Wednesday 12th of October 2022

@Brian Jones, yes, I think that a 32m sausage would be more than a mouthful. Making another batch tomorrow. Thanks for your help.


Brian Jones

Tuesday 26th of July 2022

Hi Keith...

1) I assume that you mean mm rather than m, if so yes 32-35mm is fine although a little larger than what I get my hands on, although not out of the way. 2) I tend to aim for around 15-20% fat in my sausages so I would be careful about trimming too far, but the great thing about making them yourself is that if you prefer something a little more lean then go ahead. 3) Yes Boston Butt is about the best match for Blade as far as I know.




Sunday 15th of May 2022

v late to this, but - could i use a food processor to chop chunked meat in the absence of a grinder?

Brian Jones

Tuesday 17th of May 2022

At a push, you can do it, but it is a long way from ideal! The heat generated by the blades constantly cutting and churning the meat will result in a paste rather than a ground meat which gives a fairly unpleasant texture to the sausage. I would rather buy minced meat from a store or supermarket than use a food processor.

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