By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Big Country Meat Market won some top awards at a recent meat market competition in Stillwater, featuring meat markets from Oklahoma and Texas.
Bob Nafus of Big Country won the grand prize for his summer sausage and fresh breakfast sausage May 31, June 1 and June 2 at the Oklahoma-Texas Meat Processors Association competition. He also was named reserve champion for his meat sticks.
Nafus uses the same recipe he has been using for many years and sees no reason to change something that works.
“We don’t change anything around. It’s a good recipe that we’ve had for 10 to 15 years. I cooked it up and they enjoyed it,” Nafus said.
He took all of the product Big Country had to the competition and entered it, he said. “And they chose it,” Nafus said.
Big Country Meat Market was competing against 10 other teams from Oklahoma and Texas. This was the first competition the business has entered in about nine years, he said. It won three of the six categories open for competition. It entered six products, and three won.
Nafus has worked at Big Country since 1997, while he still was in high school. Their fresh summer sausage can be taken home and cooked, but the summer sausage can be purchased and eaten, he said. Their recipes are secret; they acquired them from companies that have been in the meat business for many years.
Owner Carl Lightfield has been in business in Enid since 1986. He has the recipes for all of the meat market products, and he makes some himself. The winning sausage recipe is one that Lightfield made. He combines a number of blends and tries them to determine the result. The sausage recipe is one he has used since the 1980s, he said.
“The fresh breakfast sausage won when we went there years ago, and it won again this time,” Lightfield said. “They’re just some recipes we built up. We do assemble them in different fashion to do what we think works,” he said.
Lightfield called winning three of six products a pretty good showing.
“Bob did pretty good for his first run at it. We always brought home some, but two grand champions right out of the bag for Bob ... he’s been making it for me,” Lightfield said.
There were more Oklahoma representatives at the competition this year because it was held in the state. Lightfield said the state the competition is held in usually has more entries.
One recipe did not win grand champion, and that is disappointing to Lightfield. It is one he obtained from a man he met who started in the 1950s.
“That one’s approaching 50 to 60 years old. We have lots of hand-down stuff, like a lot of businesses. We start around the old times and carry them forward,” Lightfield said.