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 based in the South West of Scotland. We supply a wide range of high quality, oven-ready game from selected estates and we also source finest quality Outdoor Reared Pork, Blackface Lamb and Mutton alongside Native Beef, Ayrshire Rose Veal, and Free Range Bronze Turkeys from nearby suppliers. This is the heritage lamb, mutton, game and beef enjoyed by our ancestors, now available all over the UK via our efficient home delivery service. We also source wild boar and goat, although may not always have stock.
We are also long term, trusted suppliers to some of London’s best-loved restaurants.
We select slow-growing, traditional breeds that enjoy a life outdoors, with a diet of grass whilst they enjoy roaming on Scotland’s hills. We are one of few online shops to supply tender, flavoursome, Heritage Beef and the extremely flavoursome Blackface mutton, reared for up to five years. From Blackface you can be sure to get meat prepared like days gone by which simply melts in the mouth.
We 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 and berries also reduces shrinkage in the pan during cooking, offering better value for money.
We know that the health of the 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. 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.
We insist on complete traceability from field to fork. We source all our beef, mutton, lamb and pork from trusted suppliers; our game is sourced from selected local estates, all well known to us, so we know the provenance of every grouse, pheasant and deer. Our premium heritage beef is specially selected from a small group of family farms that span back several generations. They all have in-depth knowledge of animal welfare and rearing that means the animals have the best quality of life possible. All farms are regularly inspected through their farm assurance (QMS) to guarantee high standards are maintained. Keeping in close contact with these farmers gives us full confidence we are only supplying the very best of beef.
Our 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. Our on-site team of skilled butchers have a wealth of experience and are happy to prepare your meat just as you like it. 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.
Use our secure online ordering service, or telephone us on 01387 730326. We despatch our goods vacuum packed in insulated boxes with ice-gel packs to keep the meat as chilled as it was when we sent it out.
We perceive you, our customers, as a community of like minded 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 OUR SEASONAL BREEDS & MEATS
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’. Our selected Blackface Mutton are reared in a very traditional farming system which sees self-sufficient ‘hefted’ – meaning territorial – flocks of sheep roaming heather hills. The sheep live on the heather, wild mosses, blueberries 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, the sheep are brought down on to lowland grass pasture for a few months, ensuring consistent tenderness and a marbling of that all important fat.
“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” Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall
Two Year Old Mutton
Our two year old mutton 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. We don’t always have stock of two year old mutton – please call us on 01387 730326 if this is a product you would be interested in.
Five Year Old Mutton
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. Many customers hanker after the real taste of mutton. The end product is superb, giving big meaty chops and joints that are so tender if slow cooked overnight.
Download our ‘Dressed as Mutton‘ article from the delicious magazine. Photographer Vanessa Courtier.
The Blackface 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, milk fed 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.
The Breed The Scottish Blackface is one of Scotland’s oldest breeds of sheep. Over the centuries it has adapted to a self-sufficient life in hefted flocks on the hill. The wool is used to make hard wearing tweeds. They lead a natural healthy life in fantastic Scottish scenery.
Our very own home-made tasty Blackface Haggis is made to our secret recipe here in Dumfries, the home of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard, 1759-1796.
We sell our haggis as bungs, slices or as full sticks. All freshly prepared by our skilled butchers in our on site butchery.
Heritage Scottish Beef
All of our beef is from hardy, Scottish native breeds including Galloway, Shorthorn, Belted Galloway and Aberdeen-Angus.
Galloway cattle are excellent converters of the many wild grasses that grow on the hills. They are renowned for being one of Scotlands oldest and purest native breeds. They are an extremely hardy breed and are able to live off all types of land. Their natural diet produces the most succulent beef you can taste, completely natural and flavoursome meat. 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. Individual cuts and variety boxes are available all year round. We insist on heritage Galloway Beef, 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.
Aberdeen-Angus cattle are certainly Scotlands most famous native breed and are now a very popular breed for beef production across the world. The breed originates from from the Scottish counties of Aberdeenshire ad Angus, hence the name. They are an extremely hardy breed just like the Galloway and therefore suited to their native environment. The beef is renowned for its excellent eating quality and the beautiful marbling throughout adds to the flavour and tenderness of the Aberdeen-Angus Beef.
This sturdy heritage breed is a popular choice for our Scottish famers due to its ability to live on homegrown forages. Growing in popularity among meat consumers as it produces beautiful flavoured, high quality beef with excellent marbling.
Certainly one of the most visually distinctive native breeds that Scotland has to offer, the ‘beltie’ as it is fondly known originates from our local area, the beautiful Galloway Hills in South West Scotland. Beltie are well known for producing top quality beef with a remarkable texture and flavour, which can be linked to the fact that they are slow to mature.
Ayrshire Rose Veal
Our veal is sourced from a pedigree herd of Ayrshire dairy cattle on a local high welfare farm. The calves are reared on milk and cereal in a welfare-friendly system, on deep straw bedding in barns that are 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 beautiful delicate buttery flavour.
Outdoor Born and Reared Free Range Pork
We source our outdoor born and reared pork from a like minded high welfare farming family. Their truly free range pigs are able to roam on large green and rich pastures and given time to slowly mature. This high welfare method produces content happy animals and the result is premium tasting quality pork meat. Furthermore, their outdoor reared free range pigs are RSPCA Assured (Freedom Food) and have been awarded a Good Pig Award from Compassion in World Farming.
Born and Reared Outdoors – Unlike other free range animals these pigs are actually born outside and never brought indoors to ‘fatten up’. They have specially designed shelters and are always able to roam freely in each others company outdoors in the open pastures. Thus producing healthy and happy pigs.
Our pork supplier has many years of experience in pig stockman ship, the familys vast knowledge on pig husbandry means that we can deliver an excellent mouth watering product straight to your door.
Wild Scottish Venison
Venison continues to grow in popularity with our customers and chefs, not least for its proven health properties. All our wild 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.
The Roe deer is abundant in Dumfries and Galloway. It is a browsing deer, eating a wide variety of tree shoots, and herbage. This is reflected in the delicate flavour of the meat. The roe is in season all year round in Scotland, so we should have this available every week.
We source our red deer in the main from West Highland stalking estates. The Reds roam free and subsist on highland vegetation, giving the meat its renowned gamey flavour. Red stags are in season from July 1st to October 20th. They are in their best condition in early September. The Hinds (females) are in season from October 21st to February 15th. They have smaller frames than the Stags, so saddle weights tend to be 4-6kg rather than 6-8kg of the stags.
The Fallow deer is a parkland deer, which we source from parkland herds in the North of England. It comes half way between the roe and red in size, and is a grazing deer. The Fallow have the same seasons as the red deer in Scotland.
Sika, we sometimes stock this type of wild venison – please ask for further details.
Goat – Once in a while we stock Goat. If you are interested in ordering goat, please call us direct on 01387 730326
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 a local small family game processing plant, 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
Free Range Bronze Turkey
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 – Heather Regeneration Scheme
Each summer the Blackface sheep are brought down from the hill onto lowland pasture for a period, in order to help the wild heather regenerate and flower on the hills. This helps 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 – 10% Discount for Doonhamers
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.
You may download our allergen information sheet for product specific ingredients and allergen lists here.