Sunday, May 25, 2014

How to Make Cumberland Sausage

This week-end was a real treat. My inlaws, wife and I spent Saturday making Cumberland Sausage.

Cumberland Sausage is a delicious spiced sausage from the North of England. Here is a small portion of the sausage cooked and presented on a plate.
A Portion of Cooked Cumberland Sausage

What is Cumberland Sausage?

Cumberland Sausage is a British Sausage. When you think of Sausages from Britain you probably think of "Bangers" or the "Traditional" meal of 'Bangers and Mash'. Cumberland sausage is not a banger. The true banger was a short lived sausage from the World War Two era of rationing where meat was scarse and bread more plentiful to use as a packing agent.

The Cumberland Sausage is much older by comparrison. Possibly several centuries old.

The sausage is famous for two reasons.

  1.  It is not a link sausage but is made in one long length and spiraled around.
  2. It has a very spicy / pepper flavor. 

Where is Cumberland?

 Cumberland is a region of England. The ancient area of Cumberland covered the far North-West of England, including the Lake District and South -West Scotland. Today Cumberland is much smaller and is shown on maps as the County of Cumbria.


68% Pork Shoulder

12% Pork Fat/Belly

 7% Rusk or dry breadcrumbs

7% cold water

6% spice mixture

 Spice mixture:

40% salt

12% White pepper

8% Black pepper

10% nutmeg

10% mace

10% thyme

10% sage

(Spice proportions can be varied to account for personal taste but Cumberland sausage is characterized by its strong flavor of pepper.)

Hog Gut Sausage casings if you want to make cased sausage. If you want to make sausage patties you will not need casings.

We usedEastman Outdoors 100% Natural Hog Casing for Italian, Bratwurst & BBQ Size Sausages (Makes Approximately 25 Pounds of Sausage)


1. Placecoarsely minced pork shoulder and coarsely minced pork fat in a bowl and mix.

Coarsely minced pork shoulder and fat in a large mixing bowl.

2. Measure and mix spice mixture in a seperate bowl or measuring jug.

3. Add rusk or breadcrumbs and spice mixture to meat.

Meat and Dry Mix added together.

4. Mix ingredients thoroughly. I used my hands but you may use a food processor or mixer. You don't want to use cutting or chopping blades though, Cumberland Sausage is a course sausage.

Hand mixing Cumberland Sausage Filling

5. Add water to mixture and stir in .

6. Leave to stand covered in the fridge or cool place for one to two hours.

7. While mixture is curing in a cool place it is time to wash the casings.

cumberland sausage casings

Handwashing the Casings.

To wash casings thoroughly, insert a funnel into one end of the casing, rinse through with cold running water for a few minutes. Keep the casings moist in a bowl of iced water  until you need them to be placed on the sausage stuffing machine.

8. Take a small amount of the sausage  filling and make a small pattie. cook this to see how the filling tastes and make final adjustments to spicing and salt.

9.  Run casings onto your sausage stuffing nozzle on your stuffing machine.  If you are looking for a sausage making machine the LEM Products 5 Pound Stainless Steel Vertical Sausage Stuffer has a good reputation on

10. Begin stuffing the sausage by loading your sausage machine and wetting your fingers with ice cold water let the filled sausage casing slide through your fingers. Your fingers add some slight resistance. Don't squeeze too hard or the casing will split and tear.

                                    As the sausage casing fills we begin to coil our Cumberland Sausage.

finished roll of Cumberland sausage

A Completed Cumberland Sausage. All we need to do now is to cut off portions and grill or fry the sausage until cooked.

Great with a nice cold beer, or a thick hunk of bread.

From 15pounds of meat we made five large Cumberland sausage, a string of seven link sausage about 6inches long each and one dozen palm sized sausage patties enough for all the family to share, and lots of good family memories of a fun day sausage making.

British sausages

Please feel free to use this recipe and adapt it to your own tastes.

Cumberland Sausage is one of thousands of traditional sausages from around the world. Search for all your sausage making books, recipes and supplies of materials and sausage stuffing machines.

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