This recipe will show you how to make creamed chipped beef on toast, also infamously known as “shit on a shingle.” Chopped pieces of thin dried beef mixed into a creamy gravy poured over a piece of crunchy toast in an open sandwich style.
You have probably heard of it and wondered what it was.
Chipped beef on toast, also known by its military nickname “SOS” (which stands for “Sh** on a Shingle”), is a dish that has its origins in the United States, particularly within the military and rural American cuisine.
The exact origin of chipped beef on toast is a bit unclear, but it is believed to have become popular during or after World War II.
It was a staple in military mess halls due to its simplicity and the availability of ingredients. The dish typically consists of thinly sliced or chipped dried beef cooked in a creamy white sauce and served over toasted bread (often toast or biscuits).
Chipped beef on toast was also commonly prepared in rural households as an economical and filling meal. The dried beef was a preserved protein source that could be easily stored and used when needed.
While the dish’s popularity has waned over the years, it remains a nostalgic comfort food for some people, especially those who have a connection to military or rural traditions.
It’s a very simple and quick meal to make. After all, it only requires 4 ingredients to make the gravy in 10 minutes or less.
Not only that, it’s incredibly cheap!
I typically pay around $0.80 USD per packet of Buddig’s dried beef slices and the rest of the ingredients I already have on hand. You can also use Hormel or Armour’s dried beef.
Hormel’s usually comes in a package like Buddig’s in the refrigerated section of the store. Whereas, Amour’s brand is in a jar usually found close to canned deviled ham and tuna.
Ingredients to Make Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast
- Salt & Pepper
- Dried Beef (Buddig, Hormel, or Armour all work.)
- Toasted Bread
I’ve seen other chipped beef gravy recipes with cream of mushroom soup or adding peas, but this recipe is the way my family always made it when I was a child and I very much prefer it!
Be sure you pay attention to the Buddig packet if that is the brand you are purchasing. I have accidentally picked up their corned beef packets before.
Not the flavor I was going for at all.
What is Dried Beef?
It is beef that has been salt-cured for a length of time, sometimes smoked for flavor, and dried. It is then sliced very thin like deli meat.
To add more beef, or not add more beef, that is the question.
When my mother and grandmother made this recipe they always used two packets, but I prefer more beef in mine.
I generally use three packets of Buddig chipped beef (6 ounces total). It depends on what ratio of meat vs. gravy you prefer.
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Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast
- 4 oz Dried Beef, Hormel, Buddig, and Armour brands all work
- 3 tablespoon Butter
- 2 cups Milk
- ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Toasted Slices of Bread
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add flour and stir to mix a roux.
- Slowly whisk milk into roux mixture. Slice the beef into squares if not already done so. Add salt, pepper, and beef to the pot. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes and then remove from heat to allow gravy to thicken.
- Toast bread and serve the gravy over top in an open sandwich style.
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