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Cumberland Sausage

Cumberland Sausage. Mildly spiced with common herbs and spices, this traditional meaty British sausage has little filler, freezes well, and can be stuffed into sausage casings or formed into patties.

Cumberland Sausage as breakfast patties.

Cumberland Sausage as breakfast patties.

I began making homemade sausages a couple of years ago.  I have to say that it is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done in the kitchen. Sausages are one of those things that I’ve loved  my whole life.

My mother used to get fantastic sausages from Walt Mercer’s Butcher Shop in Coley’s Point. They were definitely a family favourite. Growing up, we loved to make breakfast for dinner and if pancakes and sausages were on the menu, I was one happy kid . 

These days our own family still occasionally does breakfast for dinner and of course we love our weekend brunches too. This Cumberland Sausage would be ideal to serve at either.

Cumberland Sausage comes from the Cumbria region In the Northwest of England. The sausage is traditionally sold in coils as pictured in the photo below. Strict rules are in place to protect the authenticity of the recipes that were, and still are, traditionally made.

Things like no more than 10% rusk or bread crumb filler by weight, a select few herbs and spices that can only be used.

Cumberland Sausage in a traditional coil.

Cumberland Sausage in a traditional coil, although you can easily make them as sausage links if you prefer.

Strict rules for Cumberland Sausage.

There are also quality controls like no skin or connective tissues allowed in the ground pork. All rules must be adhered to in order for one of these coils to be considered a proper Cumberland Sausage.

I’ve stayed pretty true to these rules with the exception of the addition of one or two spices I like.

This recipe makes about 6 pounds of sausage but you can easily make a half batch. Or even a double batch if you’re feeling particularly industrious. I always start with fresh pork shoulder but have used pork sirloin if it happens to be on sale.

In that case, because the meat will be too lean for sausage, I substitute 1 pound of skinless pork belly for one pound of the pork shoulder. This helps to get the right balance of fat.

I also prefer to use dried bread crumbs in this recipe. I coarse grind the bread in a food processor and then spread the crumbs out on an aluminum cookie sheet to bake at 200 degrees for about an hour.

The crumbs get tossed a couple of times during baking. Once baked and cooled, I grind them in the food processor again to get them a little finer.

Freezing and storing your Cumberland Sausage.

A vacuum sealer is ideal for storing the sausage coils for freezing, but Ziploc bags work quite well too. Just try and get as much air out of the bag as possible. When freezing these as breakfast patties, I like to weigh out the portions into 3 or 4 ounces before forming them into sausage rounds.

My method for freezing them is to stack them about 6 high with 2 parchment paper or wax paper squares between each patty. The two squares mean that each side of the sausage patty will be protected on both sides in the freezer.

It also makes them every easy to take apart while frozen so that you need only take out as many as you need at a time.

You might also like our recipe for Easy Homemade Breakfast Sausages.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

Homemade Breakfast Sausage

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Cumberland Sausage as breakfast patties.

Cumberland Sausage

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Cumberland Sausage in a traditional coil.
Yield: 6 lbs sausage

Cumberland Sausage

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Cumberland Sausage - mildly spiced with common herbs and spices, this traditional meaty British sausage has little filler, freezes well, and can be stuffed into sausage casings or formed into patties.


  • 5 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed of skin but not fat coarsely ground
  • 4 cups fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried parsley, or 2 tbsp fresh chopped


  1. Mix the salt, sugar, herbs and spices together until well combined.
  2. Cut the pork into small cubes.
  3. Toss the pork cubes in the spice mixture until they are completely coated. (Note: If you are using pre-ground pork add it to a bowl a little at a time, sprinkling some of the spice mix between the layers before mixing together well. This ensures an even distribution of the spices throughout the sausage.) (Some people like to put the pork into the freezer on a parchment lined cookie sheet for an hour or so before grinding to ensure an even grind and to keep the mix at a constantly cold temperature)
  4. Coarsely grind the spiced pork cubes.
  5. Mix in the dry breadcrumbs and finally the water. Stuff the sausage into the casings or form into 3 to 4 ounce patties.
  6. I like to ket the prepared sausages sit in the fridge for a day to let the flavours blend and develop before freezing or cooking them.
  7. If freezing the sausage, place each patty between 2 pieces of parchment paper to more easily separate them when frozen. Stack a few at a time and wrap in plastic wrap or place in ziploc bags to freeze.
  8. For sausage in casings, freeze about 2 pound coils in vacuum sealed bags or Ziploc bags.
  9. Susage patties can be thawed and cooked in a cast iron pan for a few minutes per side until golden brown.
  10. I also use a lightly oiled cast iron pan to cook the coils of sausage. I brown the coil on both sides and then place the pan in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the sausage reaches at least 160 degrees F on a meat thermometer.


The 5 lbs of pork refers to the weight after the skin and bone has been removed. An 8 pound shoulder roast should yield about 5 pounds of usable meat.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 g

Amount Per Serving Unsaturated Fat 0g

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Friday 4th of October 2019

For all the people in de USA: there is a store in Manhattan that makes and sells the original Cumberland sausage. The store is called Myers of Keswick and they sell English products. Peter Myers moved from Keswick, Cumbria(UK) to NYC, started this store in 1978 and handed it over to his daughter in 2008. Today she still makes the Cumberland sausages according to the original recipe of her grandfather who was a butcher in Keswick. You cant get any closer to the original Cumberland sausage. You can believe me because i tasted it :D


Friday 3rd of May 2019

Just made sausages for the first time ever using your recipe, and they were outstanding! I have not been able to find these sausages in Canada anywhere fresh since leaving England, so I decided to get all of the gear and make my own. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I'll be making these again and again!


Wednesday 6th of March 2019

Thank You so much. My father was from England and before he passed when I was 12 I would visit him in the summers and I remember eating Cumberland sausage, nothing on this side of the pond has that taste and I missed it greatly. I tried your recipe and it took me back 50 years. My husband had never had it and absolutely loves it, I have to make up batches of it so he can have it with breakfast every weekend

Barry C. Parsons

Friday 8th of March 2019

So very glad to hear!

margaret gurney

Saturday 12th of August 2017

How salty are these please? . Have to keep to low sodium as much as possible. I try to make my own so I can control the sodium as much as possible. This recipe sounds so good. Thank you.

Barry C. Parsons

Tuesday 29th of August 2017

I make relatively low salt sausages always. Far less than in commercially produced sausages.


Saturday 30th of January 2016

This sounds like a sausage I had in England. I never have found another here in California anywhere close in taste. I may have to go into the sausage business!

Barry C. Parsons

Monday 8th of February 2016

Yes, they are indeed popular in the Cumbria regain. I just love them.

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