Saturday, February 28, 2015

Creamed Beef on Toast (aka "Shit on a Shingle" or "SOS")

I have fond memories of this dish. When we were kids, Dad would, once in a blue moon, make this for breakfast, and I just loved it! By all accounts, this was something that was standard fare in U.S. military cuisine that originated well before WWII. So why "Shit on a Shingle?" Clearly because of the way the finished dish looks, which obviously doesn't portend its actual deliciousness. Kinda like sausage and gravy but with ground beef instead of sausage. 

Per Wiki: 
"In the United States, chipped beef on toast was commonly served to soldiers in the United States Armed Forces. It was thus considered emblematic of the military experience, much as pea soup is in Finland or Sweden. In American military slang it is commonly referred to by the dysphemism "Shit On a Shingle" (SOS)—or, "Stew On a Shingle", "Same Old Stuff", "Something On a Shingle", or occasionally 
"Save Our Stomachs".

Some recipes call for chipped beef (thinly sliced, dried, pressed, salted beef), while others use ground beef. But since Dad only used ground beef, that's what I'm going with. 

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Toast points
Scrambled eggs and/or hash browns

1. Brown the ground beef over medium high heat until partially cooked through. Add the minced onions and cook until the beef is just done. Stir in 1 tbsp. of butter and sprinkle in the flour.

2. Blend the flour and beef together and cook for about 3o seconds, then add the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. 

3. Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.

4. In the meantime, toast some white bread until lightly golden (1 1/2 to 2 slices of toast per serving: this recipe makes 4 servings). 

5. To serve: cut each slice of toast in half along the diagonal and place on individual plates. Ladle a good helping of the creamed beef over the toast and serve with a side of soft scrambled eggs and/or hash browns. 

NOTE: The creamed beef can be made up to one day ahead and reheated just before serving. In fact, the flavors are a bit more developed over time. 

SERVINGS NOTES: Next time around, I might cut the crust off of the toast to make perfect rectangles for a nicer presentation and garnish with some chopped scallions.

Brown the beef part way through then add the minced onion.  

Add 1 tbsp. unsalted butter. 

Sprinkle in 1/4 cup of flour to make a roux.  

Add 2 cups of milk and simmer for 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. 

 Add salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.

Serve the creamed beef over toast points and a side of scrambled eggs and/or hash browns. 

1 comment:

  1. I have been meaning to make this for a very long time. I got tears in my eyes reminiscing about my (Army) Dad making this for us. I truly appreciate your post as well as the background story. Guess I know what I'm eating over the 4th of July holiday. Thank you! :0)