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The Hairy Bikers' Cumberland sausage pie

The Hairy Bikers / 15 October 2021

Broken up chunky Cumberland sausages are topped with cheesy mash in this tasty alternative to shepherd's pie.

Cumberland sausage pie by The Hairy Bikers
Cumberland sausage pie by The Hairy Bikers

Cooking time

1 1/2 hours




  • 8 Cumberland sausages (about 500g)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 15g butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100ml red wine
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large thyme sprig
  • 1–2 tbsp Cumberland sauce
  • 1 tsp orange zest (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper

For the pie topping

  • 1kg floury potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 30g butter
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, cut into rounds
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 50ml single cream
  • 100g Cheddar cheese, grated


Cumberland pie is very similar to shepherd’s pie, so we thought to ourselves: why not make a pie with Cumberland sausages for the full Cumberland experience? We’ve broken the sausages up into little balls so everyone gets a bite of banger satisfaction. Add the cheesy potato topping and this is a dish to be proud of.

Skin the sausages. Divide each sausage into 4 and roll each piece into balls. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and lightly fry the sausage balls until browned on all sides, then set them aside.

Heat the remaining oil and the butter in a large saucepan or a flameproof casserole dish. Add the vegetables and sauté them for a few minutes, until well coated with the oil and butter. Cover and leave to cook, stirring regularly, until tender – this will take at least 10 minutes.

Stir in the flour, then when it has disappeared into the oil, stir in the tomato purée. Turn up the heat and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, then pour in the red wine. Bring to the boil and continue to stir, then add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Stir in the Cumberland sauce and the orange zest, if using, then add the sausage balls. Season with plenty of salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook the sauce for 20 minutes, stirring every so often to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom, until it has reduced down a bit and thickened. Meanwhile, make the topping. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes, season with plenty of salt and cook for 10–15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.

Drain the potatoes and mash until smooth. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the spring onions. Fry until they start to soften, then add the potatoes to the pan with the mustard, if using, and the cream. Beat together until well combined.

Put the filling into a pie dish or casserole dish. Spread the mashed potato over the top, then rough it up with a fork. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until well browned and piping hot.

The Hairy Bikers Everyday Winners

The Hairy Bikers’ Everyday Winners by Si King and Dave Myers is published by Seven Dials in hardback at £22, photography by Andrew Hayes-Watkins

Try more recipes from The Hairy Bikers, including Cumberland sausage pie, corned beef hash and vegetable enchiladas.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.