The Blackface Meat Company believes passionately in the link between a healthy landscape and the highest quality meat. The two are so closely bound that the flavour of our products is of the land itself: the heather and the berries; the wild grasses and fresh waters of the burns found in the most beautiful, unspoilt regions of Britain.
We are a small family business, rearing Blackface sheep and Galloway cattle on our heather clad hill farm in the South West of Scotland. We supply a wide range of high quality, oven-ready game from selected Scottish estates and we also source finest quality Scottish Pork and Christmas turkeys from nearby suppliers. This is the lamb, mutton, game and beef enjoyed by our ancestors, now available all over the UK via our efficient home delivery service.
We are also long term, trusted suppliers to some of London's best-loved restaurants, including The Ivy, Fergus Henderson's St. John and Rowley Leigh's Cafe des Anglais.
Our lamb – rated 15 in The Independent ‘Best 50 British Foods’Our Galloway Beef – As seen on The Great British Menu, in the Scottish final, and winner of 3 Stars in the Great Taste Awards 2010Our Mutton awarded Gold in the Seasonal Produce in Britain in the 2006 Sainsbury/ Daily Telegraph Taste of Britain Awards.Our 5-year-old mutton awarded Gold in the Best Savoury Product in Dumfries and Galloway Savour the Flavours Awards 2006
BREEDWe specialise in slow-growing, traditional breeds that enjoy a life outdoors, free-range on Scotland’s hills. We are one of the few British online farm shops to supply tender, flavoursome, three year old ‘aged’ Galloway beef and Scottish Blackface mutton, reared for up to five years.
FEEDWe believe that meat from animals fed on a natural diet will be as tender as it is richly aromatic and savoury. Slow growth on a diet of grasses and wild plants also reduces shrinkage in the pan during cooking, offering better value for money.
HEALTHWe know that the health of our animals benefits from a life enjoyed outdoors in clean air, with access to a wide diversity of plants and natural spring water. Stress is also kept to an absolute minimum, with no-over crowding and a short journey to our local abattoir. We also believe that healthy animals produce meat that is good for you – a recent study reported higher levels of nutritious Omega 3 fatty acids in slow grown, naturally fed mutton.
SOURCEWe insist on traceability. We breed and rear our own beef, mutton and lamb; our game is sourced from selected Scottish estates, all well known to us, so we know the provenance of every grouse, pheasant and deer. Aside from our own farm produce we source our pork and bronze turkeys from trusted local suppliers.
THE CUTOur meat is properly matured in the traditional way; hung at a controlled temperature to develop tenderness and flavour. We can butcher to your exact requirements, at no extra charge. Game is sent out plucked and dressed, ready for the oven. Full cooking instructions and recipes are available on our website or contact us for printed recipes.
THE SERVICEUse our secure online ordering service, or telephone us on 01387 730326. We pack and send out our meat fresh, ready for your oven or freezer. We despatch our goods vacuum packed in insulated boxes with ice-gel packs to keep the meat cool.
YOUWe perceive you, our customers, as a community of likeminded people who enthusiastically share an enjoyment of the very best, seasonal food. We welcome your feedback, including recipes to post on our website. We are delighted to be a preferred supplier to many top chefs who care passionately about the quality of the meat they buy. They are very particular, so we know this means our meat is delicious.
INTRODUCING SCOTTISH BLACKFACE MUTTON Those of you who have never tried mutton are in for a treat. Leave behind thoughts of tough, powerfully flavoured meat and taste instead tender roasts that can even be served slightly rare, or ‘pink’. How have we done it? Our unique system sees self-sufficient ‘hefted’ – meaning territorial – flocks of sheep roaming the heather hills on our farm in the southern uplands. The sheep live on the heather, wild mosses, blaeberries and grasses. As a result their meat is tinted a deep red and you can clearly taste the herby flavours of wild plants. After a good fill of heather, we bring the sheep down on to lowland grass pasture for a few months, ensuring consistent tenderness and a marbling of that all important fat. To enhance the flavour even more, we hang all our mutton for a full two weeks.
“Blackface Lamb is some of the most delicious I have ever tasted. There is no question in my mind that the diet of heather and moorland grasses give it a distinctive and special flavour, and the two year old mutton hung for a full two weeks is particularly outstanding”.Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, September 2005
“Ben Weatherall’s Blackface mutton has been a staple ingredient on The Ivy menu for the past few years. The excellent quality and consistency of product along with level of service has been the key to us working together. Egon Ronay raved about the mutton & turnip pie when he came to review us for his guide.”Alan Bird, Head Chef, The Ivy, London
TWO YEAR OLD MUTTONOur two year old muttons spend two summers on the hill farm before being brought down to the lowland grass pasture. You can cook this mutton just as you would spring lamb, even serving it ‘pink’ or rare.
FIVE YEAR OLD MUTTONOur award winning five-year-old mutton (ewes) spend five summers on the hills. This meat, which has the greatest depth of flavour, is best cooked very slowly, then eaten tender and falling off the bone. We have won two gold awards for our five-year-old mutton, and many top London chefs serve it for its fine texture and heather flavoured character.
SCOTTISH BLACKFACE LAMBOur ewes lamb out in the wild in late April and early May. They then move up onto the high ground where they can enjoy the heather and other seasonal wild plants. Our very special, young milk fed Scottish Blackface lamb is available only in June, and then from late August to April we sell Blackface Lamb, also reared on the hill.
One of the delights of our meat is its seasonal variation – the milk fed lamb has buttery notes and extreme tenderness, the late August come straight from the hill, with all its herby flavours, ready for recipes using favourite summer vegetables; the later lambs are robust, with a delicious marbling of fat.
BLACKFACE HAGGISOur tasty Blackface Haggis are made by our local butcher to an ancient recipe in Dumfries, the home of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard, 1759-1796.
GALLOWAY BEEF Our herd of pure-bred Galloway beef cattle live on the hills with the Blackface sheep. They also love to eat the wild grasses and moss, making way for the heather to regenerate. They are an ancient breed, unchanged since the Romans discovered them in these Scottish glens. Their shaggy, double coats mean they are uniquely suited to this landscape and weather. They are finished in our lowland pastures. We hang our beef for 3 weeks. Individual cuts and variety boxes are available all year round.
We insist on pure-bred Galloway, preserving a traditional, native herd with a history that goes back centuries. Taste it and enjoy its fine grained texture and you will know the difference too.
OUR PORK Sourced locally from a like minder supplier, finest quality Scottish pork reared in a natural environment and butcher to your specification.
AYRSHIRE VEAL Our veal is sourced from a pedigree herd of Ayrshire dairy cattle on another family farm. The calves are reared on milk and cereal in a welfare-friendly system, on deep straw bedding in barns that are part open to the outdoors. They are kept in small, unchanging groups; able to behave naturally and enjoy a rich and natural diet. The tender meat, is perfect for grilling and frying, and has a delicate, buttery flavour.
WILD SCOTTISH VENISONVenison continues to grow in popularity with our customers and chefs, not least for its proven health properties. All our venison is sourced from Scotland, and we sell three venison species, depending on season: The largest of the three, red deer, roam in the rugged hills and mountains of the West Highlands. Smaller roe deer inhabit the thick forests of the Scottish border country and our fallow deer meat is sourced from deer parks. Each type of venison has its own special characteristics, and, like our Blackface lamb and Galloway beef, it is hung for optimum tenderness and extra flavour.
WILD GAME Game covers a wide and diverse range of animals and birds, naturalised or born in the wild, all sourced from selected estates in Scotland. We produce high quality, oven-ready game, using the expertise of our sister company Yorkshire Game, who process the meat to match our own exacting standards.
Grouse is our speciality. It is harvested from the heather hills in summer and early autumn, where it lives wild on well managed estates. Taste it and witness one of Britain’s most extraordinary foods; deliciously lean meat with a rich and herby taste, so good with vintage claret. Later in the autumn we have abundant pheasant and partridge, nutritious and flavoursome alternative to bland poultry. These and other game birds are sold plucked, dressed and ready to cook. If you are new to cooking game, we are happy to advise you and give cooking instructions.
• Note that all our game may contain shot
BRONZE TURKEYS FOR CHRISTMAS For your winter feasts, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we offer Bronze Turkeys, a revived traditional breed with the juiciest meat and subtle gamey notes in its flavour. Ours are slow reared on local farms that have been carefully vetted by us.
CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT - OUR HEATHER REGENERATION SCHEME Each summer we bring the Blackface sheep down from the hill onto lowland pasture for a period, in order to help the wild heather regenerate and flower on the hills. Our plan is to increase the biodiversity in the region, restoring the flora to attract the fauna and return the Scottish landscape to its original beauty. We hope soon to see a full coverage of the purple flowered heather and wild plants on the hill, essential to the survival of the grouse and other species that live in this naturally beautiful habitat.
PACKING AND DELIVERY All our meat cuts are sent out in vacuum packs, inside cardboard boxes lined with polystyrene and insulated with re-cycled shredded paper and frozen gel packs. We deliver to most of the mainland UK overnight, to arrive by noon the following day. Delivery is free, although there is a charge for delivery to the Highlands and Islands, which takes 2 days.
SHOP LOCAL If you have a DG postcode and can collect from us, we’ll give you a ‘Doonhamer’ discount of 10% on your order.Don’t be shy - we love to meet our customers. Just order online, entering the code DH10, or telephone 01387 730326, place your order and inform us that you can collect.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH Be the author of our featured recipe of the month on our website and you will receive a special gift. Just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your favourite new invention plus a photograph of the finished dish.
ABOUT US Behind the Blackface Meat Company is a small team headed by farmer and game expert Ben Weatherall who lives ‘over the shop’ with his wife Silvy and four children. Ben’s brother Percy, who lives with his wife Clara and children nearby, farms the pedigree dairy Ayrshire herd (see veal) and works with Ben to manage the hill farmland and the all important heather. Our meat is butchered professionally and an experienced packing and despatch team make sure your Blackface meat arrives in perfect condition, on time.
ALLERGENS You may download our allergen information sheet for product specific ingredients and allergen lists //www.blackface.co.uk/images/uploads/product alergen information.pdf.
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The Wood Pigeon was some of the best game anyone had eaten – cooked in a bag with brandy and thyme. The filet was eaten twice – once simply roasted and a second time cold with ginger and on a salad – and was full flavoured (more so than most filet) and very tender.
The roe striploin was full of flavour and really surprisingly tender. Veal rib exemplary.
The osso bucco was the best I have ever cooked – and I make this dish a lot. And the kidneys were great.
I really cannot praise the meat enough. And will use you again and again and again. I am a major fan. H
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