Creamed chipped beef & Toast (S.O.S.) is a recipe originating in our nation’s military. It became popular outside the military as those who had served craved the dish once home.
Although not all former servicemen remembered it with fondness considering how much they had to eat the very economical meal. It could have been as much as 3 times a day for those away on ships having to ration food.
Officially called creamed chipped beef, it is also more commonly referred to as S.O.S. and remains a popular dish today.
This popular military dish of sos gravy may have been prepared differently depending on which branch of the military it was being served. The navy found the dried beef essential because a canned meat was shelf stable. The army might used ground beef instead mixed with the creamy white gravy since they had easier access to fresh supplies.
There are some who also consider sausage gravy to be called creamed chipped beef. Anyways, from mess halls to home cooks, let’s talk about how to make the best creamed chipped beef.
How to make Chipped Beef
What is creamed chipped beef made of? Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 tablespoons of Butter (half a stick)
- 1/3 cup of Flour (all purpose)
- 3 cups of Whole Milk
- Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
- Dried Beef, sliced
- Toasted Texas Toast Bread Slices (or biscuits or mashed potatoes)
I get a lot of questions asking if you can use Buddig beef and of course the answer is yes, if that is what you want to use.
I like to use the class dried beef that comes in the little glass jar that you find in the canned meats section of your local grocery store.
Optional ingredients from comments that I’ve received that you might like: mushrooms, peas, a dash of Worcestershire sauce or whatever you might like to add for an easy meal.
Favorite Comfort Foods
The dried beef slices are small rounds before chopping into smaller pieces. Some folks like to soak the slices in warm water prior to chopping to remove some of the excess salt.
Personally, I do not soak the beef and think it adds the required salt needed for the creamy white gravy so no additional salt is need in the recipe.
If you decide to soak it, use a paper towel to blot dry before slicing.
Creamy Beef Gravy
Give the dried beef a rough chop into bite sized small pieces and set aside until needed for the cream sauce.
Dried Beef Gravy
Above is one of the original photos when I first published this post. I decided to give it a makeover and had a new photoshoot to get better pictures to share in this recipe that is so loved by many.
Creamed Chipped Beef with Dried Beef
Where do you buy dried beef? Dried beef can typically be found at your local grocery store in small glass jars where you find other canned meats.
Let’s make a batch of Creamed Chipped Beef & Toast – S.O.S.
- 4 tablespoons Butter
- 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
- 3 cups Whole Milk
- Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
- 4.5 ounce Dried Beef, sliced
- Toasted Texas Toast Bread Slices
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the butter.
- When the butter is melted and begins to bubble add the flour and mix to combine.
- Simmer the roux for 2-3 minutes to cook away the raw flour taste.
- Next, add the milk and stir or whisk to combine.
- Add cracked black pepper and the chipped beef to the white sauce and simmer 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.
- Serve over toasted bread (shingles) , biscuits, or hashbrowns.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 768mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g
Q & A with Tips for making Creamed Chipped Beef and Toast
What do you serve with creamed chipped beef? The creamed chipped beef is usually served with toasted bread as a meal. You could also serve it along with fresh fruit or eggs prepared to your liking.
How long does creamed chipped beef last in the refrigerator? Up to 4 days or you can freeze the meat gravy to re-heat another time.
Why is dried beef so expensive? I’m not really sure but I’ve heard from many that the cost is much higher than it used to be. I would think that might have something to do with the way that it is cured. The cost of dried beef is also why some folks opt for using hamburger, which is cheaper, and humbly nicknamed “poor man’s chipped beef”.
Be sure to serve the creamed chipped beef while it is hot and delicious. You can still find this old timey meal at favorite breakfasts places in South Carolina beach towns. This has always been one of the best recipes to fill hungry tummies on a tight grocery budget.
Other variations that have been shared with me for making chipped beef gravy:
- Some use cream of mushroom rather than making a white sauce from scratch
- Other meats that folks use also include chopped bologna, ground poultry (chicken or turkey), venison and Vienna sausages.
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Thank you so much for stopping by! I am so happy that you did. I hope that you make a batch of this nostalgic creamy beef gravy soon to enjoy as a delicious meal. It was one of my late mother in laws favorite meals for an easy supper.
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Until next time, Friend, love and happy cooking!