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Cumberland Sausage

Introduction & method

Cumberland sausage must be one of the UK's most popular types of sausage. Traditionally made in coils and sold by length or weight, you can also identify Cumberland sausage by its strong spicy and peppery seasoning.

Cumberland Sausage Recipe

Make the Rusk

Making your own rusk is really a separate operation, so leave a good couple of hours for it. If you already have rusk or breadcrumbs, skip to the next paragraph. To make rusk, first of all, preheat your oven to 210°C (410°F) fan,  230°C (446°F), gas 8. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Then add water a bit at a time. When the dough comes together as a ball, tip it out onto a floured worktop and knead gently for 4-5 minutes. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and sprinkle with flour. Place your ball of dough in the middle and flatten it with your hands to about 2cm (just under an inch) thick. Tidy up the edges to make a rectangle, then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. Take it out and turn the oven down to 150°C (302°F) fan, 170°C (338°F)  conventional, gas 4. Leave the door open to let the hot air escape. Cut the rusk into 2cm wide strips and arrange them so the unbaked sides are facing upwards. Pop them back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Break the rusk up into chunks and pulse them in a blender until you have something like coarse breadcrumbs. Spread the crumbs out and let them dry and cool completely, then store them in an airtight container until needed.

Prep the Pork

Your rusk or breadcrumbs need to be soaked in cold water - just bit less than you have crumbs.
Your pork needs to be boneless and rindless - belly pork frequently has rind on but it's quite easy to remove. Try to get pork with plenty of fat on - as much as 15-20% is brilliant. Cut it into chunks that will go through your mincer. In a small jar, make up your seasoning mix and shake well. This is the correct amount of seasoning for 1 kilo of meat/rusk. Loosely mix everything together in a large bowl. 

Get Ready to Stuff the Sausages

Cut 2 lengths of hog casing, 1 metre long each.
If your hog casing is supplied in salt, rinse the cut lengths in cold water. If your casing is stiff, soak it in water. Thread one length of the casing onto the funnel of your sausage stuffer. Tie a knot in the open end. Switch on the machine and feed the filling through. Arrange it into a coil as it hits the worktop. Try not to overstuff the skin.

Cook the Cumberland Sausage

It's easier to cook the sausage if you cut it into short lengths, but you don't want to do that, you want the whole coil. Prick the skin all over. Gently fry the coil for 5 minutes each side. Put your oven on medium and bake the sausage for about 15 minute so it gets browned all over.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Cumberland Sausage on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 800 grams pork shoulder, chops or belly
 200 grams butcher's rusk or breadcrumbs
 3 tsp salt
 2 tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp ground white pepper
 3 tsp sage
 half a tsp ground nutmeg
 quarter tsp mace
 quarter tsp cayenne pepper
 250 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
 2½ tsp baking powder
 1 tsp salt
 100 ml water


Natural hog casing, about 2 metres.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 6 -8
Prep time: 30 minutes.
Resting time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes.