Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekend Cooking...S.O.S aka Creamed Chip Beef

I am not sure why this simple dish gets a bit of a bad name.
Perhaps it is that name it picked up in the military... S*** On a Shingle. When my mom made it, that is not she called it.
Ok, maybe she actually did sometimes. lol
Oh, it may not be held in high esteem in some places, but for me, it is another one of those cherished comfort foods.

Unlike it's southern counterpart, sausage gravy, personally I don't really think of this as just a breakfast dish. No I think of it as being more of something for a lunch or even a fast dinner. But if you are able to find it in a restaurant, usually a diner in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic, it will be for breakfast.

Now, of course, the one thing you need is the dried beef. Here in the East it is available in jars, or in little bags in the refrigerated section of the supermarket and even, in some places, like our nearest Amish market, fresh. Well, fresh, if you can call a piece of dried, salted beef fresh. It has to be sliced very, very thin.

Which raises the issue of salt. Sometimes, depending on the brand, the beef can be very dry and salty. If so, just soak it in cool water for a bit or boil it in a little water for a couple of minutes before you add it to the sauce. That should draw out any extra salt and also rehydrate it and then you are good to go.
We always had it on toast, but it would be great on biscuits or even on a baked tater.

Creamed Chip Beef

* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups warm milk
* 4 oz. dried beef
* 1 pinch cayenne pepper
* a dash or two of Worcestershire

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to form a roux. Let it cook for a minute then whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until thickened. Tear or cut up beef so you have small pieces. Stir the beef into the sauce and then add the cayenne and Worcestershire. Cook, stirring  for a couple of minutes until warmed through and serve.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. This takes me back a long way. I grew up in a big family (8 kids) and this was a regular on my mom's rotation - a fast dinner. Haven't had it in quite a while but it's in my brain now so maybe ...

  2. You know, I've never had creamed chipped beef. Looks like great 'comfort food'!

  3. Hi Caite,

    I have never come across dried beef here in the UK, but then it is not something that I have ever actually sought to buy, I'm sure it must be available somewhere.

    This is definitely not a dish that you would find on any typical breakfast menu over here either, although we would probably eat it as a light lunch at midday.

    Looks good though.


  4. I had never heard anyone call it that until my brother in law to be made it and called it that! Too funny!

  5. We used to come home for lunch (no cafeteria in my elementary or high school), and this was something my mom would make every once in a while for us to have for lunch. It brings back memories for me too.

  6. My husband requests this dish every once in a while. He likes it over biscuits. Back in the 60s my husband was trained as a cook in the army and he learned SOS. However, they made it with hamburger instead of chipped beef. They usually served it over mashed potatoes. Either way, it's great comfort food.

  7. I LOVE SOS...we never called it that at home but we did in the Navy. Mom actually served it for dinner whenever my dad was on night shift. We actually loved when Dad worked that shift, we'd get pancakes, creamed chipped beef, mac and cheese and other comfort yummies.

    I know it's probably anathema, (and I'm not getting paid so I'll mention their name) Stouffer's actually makes a fairly decent frozen version..Mom and I love it. Drop the bag in boiling water and in a few minutes - voila! (and it's actually a lot less salty...

    Thanks for the memories

  8. Like Yvonne, I am not sure that we have dried beef here, and it is definitely not something I have heard of for a breakfast dish.

    Part of the reason I love Weekend Cooking is finding out about what is normal for other people, but very different for me.

    Gotta love comfort food though!

  9. Ah. You've made me want to make veggie ragout on toast now! ;) Haven't done so in a while, so that's a good idea!

  10. maybe I need to start an export business and ship dried beef to the rest of the world!!

  11. My mother used to cook this, usually for a weekday dinner. I never did like it. Not a fan of dried beef.

  12. I had no idea you could get dried bef.


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