The whole raison d’être of the Cumberland sausage is the fact that it’s made in a coil. Yes, I know that some continental sausages are made in the same shape, but the only British circular sausage is the Cumberland.
In 2011 it won PGI status (technically as the ‘traditional Cumberland sausage’). As well as being coiled, it must be produced, processed and prepared in Cumbria and have a meat content of at least 80%.
For the average Saucy Dressings reader, aiming for the maximum looks and minimum effort the Cumberland sausage is a no-brainer. There’s no getting away from it, it’s a sausage with impressive looks.
Unfortunately, they are not so easy to find in supermarkets, although on-line supermarket, Ocado, stocks them. Otherwise it’s back to your local butcher. The non-coiled variety is available everywhere.
Serve the sausage as described in the recipe below, on a bed of fried, cheesy potatoes, together with a hearty, fruity chutney (I use apple and blackberry) and a floppy English lettuce salad anointed generously with lots of creamy dressing.
Recipe for Cumberland sausage with cheesy potatoes
- 400g/14 oz Cumberland sausage
- 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- Olive oil to fry and roast
- 6 or so medium-sized floury potatoes
- 85g/⅔ cup grated cheese (whatever you have in the fridge which you need to use up…nothing too bland though)
- Fresh herbs parsley, thyme or sage
- Smoked salt and Indonesian long pepper
- Boil a kettle.
- Preheat the oven to 210°C.
- Cut the potatoes into similar sized pieces – halves or thirds (for heaven’s sake don’t bother to peel them). Pour the boiled water into a large saucepan, put over a high heat, add the potatoes, bring the water to the boil, and boil for fifteen minutes. Drain and scuff slightly (ideally use a prep-a-lot). You’ll find a lot of the skin comes off by itself, what remains doesn’t matter.
- Pour about three tablespoons of oil into a roasting tin large enough to contain the sausage. Add the potatoes and the chopped shallot, mix.
- Put the sausage on top of its potato bed and roast for about half an hour.
- Take the whole thing out. Remove the sausage (put it on a warmed plate). Stir the potato bed around a bit. Mix in the cheese and snip over some fresh herbs. Pour over a bit more olive oil. Mix again.
- Put the sausage back on its bed, the other way up this time.
- Put the whole back in the oven for another half hour. The sausage needs to be well charred on both sides by the time you serve it.
- Serve, magnificently, on a warmed circular serving plate together with the chutney and the green-and-cream salad.
For an explanation about PGIs, follow this link.