Main Street Meats win awards in St. Cloud
By Sarah Smith
Victory was sweet for Main Street Meats. There was nothing sassy about it.
The Park Rapids butcher shop scored another two wins at the Minnesota Association of Meat Processors annual show. The trade group represents meat sellers in three states.
Jeff Berndt’s Western Breakfast Skillet brats won a top award in the Specialty Small Diameter Sausage division.
But it was his sweet and sassy jerky that wowed the judges, who awarded him a grand champion plaque.
The show, at the St. Cloud Civic Center two weeks ago, featured 546 meat products in 26 categories.
Competition in the jerky category was stiff – 27 entries.
Berndt was his usual low-key self in announcing the awards, but beaming nonetheless.
This isn’t Berndt’s first win. He won last year, too, a Reserved Grand Champion for his smoked country sausage, the equivalent of second place and a Grand Champion for his breakfast brats.
This year he tinkered with the recipe for the breakfast brats and still won. Without disclosing the actual amounts, the Western Breakfast Skillet is made of beef, pork and bacon.
He adds shredded hash browns, cheddar cheese, peppers, onions and breakfast seasoning.
“It’s all stuffed into a brat and smoked,” he said.
All judges have meat science degrees or are working toward them. Berndt makes many varieties of sausages in addition to selling prime cuts of beef, pork, chicken and fish.
He’s been reluctant to accept the title of Sausage Prince of Park Rapids, but if he keeps going like he has, he might be crowned King Jerkey.