My next and third meat box is <drumroll>… from the Blackface Meat Company! Don’t be alarmed by their name – Blackface is merely taken from the traditional sheep breed of the same name, for which they are famed. Some things you should know about Blackface first:
- They are a small family business, based in Dumfries, Scotland, headed by farmer and game expert Ben Weatherall, his wife and four children.
- They specialise in slow-growing traditional breeds: Blackface sheep – they are famed especially for their two- and five- year old mutton, and Galloway cattle. Blackface also supplies Iron Age pigs, Wild Scottish venison and a wide selection of game from selected Scottish estates.
- The importance of natural landscape features heavily in Blackface’s values. Sheep and cattle are reared on the heather and berry rich hills of the family farm. Their stock is seasonal, regional and traceable.
- Blackface supplies some of the most esteemed restaurants in London, including one of my favourites: St John.
I chose Blackface for two reasons – I wanted to get a box of pure game to try out (it being game season), and I also wanted to find the perfect meat for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. And Blackface had just the thing. So without further ado, let us commence the unboxing of November’s meat box (apologies for the horrible lighting):
4 red leg partridge breasts 232g – £9.50
Haggis-stuffed pheasant – £9.95
Pair of wood pigeons – £6.80
Saddle of roe 1.66kg – £46
Chined Blackface mutton rack – £24
I had gotten in touch with Kathryn, PR at Blackface, to order my box. She advised we have the saddle of roe for Christmas, and also helped me choose the other cuts. When Chris saw the saddle, he said it was “like something out of Event Horizon”. It definitely looks amazingly sci-fi!
The whole box came to about £100. Expensive – but worth it. The priciest item was the saddle of roe at £28/kg, yet the cost is reasonable for a fancy Xmas meal when you compare it to the price of organic turkeys around. So if you’re looking to order your Christmas meal, you should check out Blackface’s huge selection of game and local produce.