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Jul 8, 2011 11:30 AM

Looking For Authentic "SOS" In North Seattle Area

After searching the board for all of the variations of this venerable military classic,
I came up with nothing.

My boyfriend is relocating from Ft. Bragg and he loves this stuff. Yes, I know that's crazy but what are you going to do?

For those of you who do not know what SOS is, it's chipped beef on toast in a peppery cream gravy.
Yes, I know it sounds horrible and it is to many of us. Trust me, my father loved it as well.

People who have spent a long time in the military sometimes develop an affinity (addiction?) to it and just have to have it from time to time. I'm sure he wouldn't mind driving a bit to find it either.

There have to be places here that serve it regularly given all the military bases around. After an hour of searching, I did find that a few places do it on Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.

Any help is greatly appreciated !

Thank you.

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  1. Surely some credential will get you on base for breakfast...
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups warm milk
    1 (8 ounce) jar dried beef
    1 pinch cayenne pepper
    In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter.
    Whisk in flour all at once to form a roux.
    Whisk in milk, a little at a time, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until thickened. Bring to a boil, stir in beef and cayenne, heat through and serve over toast.
    6 oz. sliced, dried beef, rinsed in cold water
    1/4 c. butter
    1/4 c. minced onion
    2 tbsp. flour
    2 1/2 c. milk
    Salt and pepper
    1 tbsp. chopped parsley
    8 slices buttered toast or 4 lg. waffles

    Shred beef into small pieces.
    Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
    Saute onion until tender.
    Sprinkle in flour, stirring constantly, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
    Gradually stir in milk and cook 5 to 8 more minutes, until sauce is thick.
    Add beef, then pepper and salt to taste.
    Add parsley and remove from heat.
    Serve on toast or waffles. Serves 4.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrnelso

      Thank you very much for the recipe and the information !

      I'll have to practice this a few times before I try it on him.

    2. a word of warning - chipped beef (or dried beef) being relatively expensive and not all that common these days, many military cooks have for years been substituting ordinary ground beef. this produces a perfectly acceptable dish (much like biscuits'n'gravy) but not at all the same as the infamous world war 2 dish when dried beef was easiest to ship. as mrnelso has indicated, it is incredibly easy to whip up at home whatever type of meat you have. also delicious over cornbread.

      4 Replies
      1. re: howard 1st

        That's really great information to have. He said that some of the groceries sell the dried beef in cans. I'll check around a bit.

        Thank you so much for the help !

        1. re: WAFlyGirl

          Most larger groceries have chipped dried beef in a jar. Weight is about 4 oz, with a net cost around $15/lb. But feels high, but it is a dried product (like jerky).

          But ask if he is used to dried beef version or the ground beef one.

          1. re: paulj

            Thanks for the tip ! He was telling me that he has had both kinds and likes the regular dried beef kind the best. Figures, huh?

            Now that I have the recipe and know what to get, I can make it hopefully. I'm going to keep my eyes open for any restaurants around that might serve it. The Local Yolk in Lynnwood serves it on Memorial Day I think.

            That way when we head out some place we can get it on the way and not have to make it at home. Where he is now, he has it at least one a week. It's not health food for sure.

            Thank you for your help :)

            1. re: WAFlyGirl

              There's a kind of shredded dried beef that you can make it from, more closely akin to the original Civil War recipe than what passes for "jerky."
              In Spanish it's called "Machaca" and I don't know if you can get it in Latino grocery stores, but I know for a fact that you can get it in

              Viet Wah Grocery on MLK, where it's called "Beef Fu" and it's next to "Pork Sung" (Same thing, different critter)

              And I've made SOS out of it, without having to spend $5.00 for six ounces like with the grocery market stuff.

      2. It is listed on the menu for the Sunrise Breakfast Buffet for Golden Corral in Marysville

        1 Reply
        1. Given that there is a naval base in Everett, I'd imagine that there would be something up there but could not find it doing a quick google search. Probably a good option to look at.

          5 Replies
          1. re: BallardFoodie

            That's a good thought. They seem to serve that stuff in all of the armed forces branches. So as you say maybe Everett or near Tacoma perhaps.

            Thanks !

            1. re: BallardFoodie

              I had the naval base in mind when I found the Marysville source. I ended up doing a search in that region for 'creamed chipped beef'.

              1. re: paulj

                As I look further, I'll use that in the search. LOL There are so many names for that stuff.

                The "Diner, Drive-Ins, & Dives Show" featured a diner near San Diego, if memory serves, that actually serves it on the stainless steel mess hall trays. As you may have guessed, it's a hang out for veterans and active duty military. They made the ground beef kind and he was retired from the Marines. So there's the Navy thing again.

                I picked this up on Yelp:

                "For SOS, I've used the "Buddig" brand beef in the deli case (you know, the presliced stuff.) It makes a quite serviceable SOS and is much cheaper than chipped beef.: They also said Armour is the best canned variety to use.

                Same good advice I found here !

                1. re: WAFlyGirl

                  (WARNING!! PEDANTIC CONTENT!!)

                  the "authentic" version of SOS (aka 'creamed chipped beef") starts with dried beef which, during world war 2, was easy to ship and did not not spoil so easily. this product is available today in speciality delis carved ("chipped") from larger pieces and, in small jars, in some supermarkets near the canned corned beef; armour is the only brand i've ever seen. the 'buddig' product, in plastic bags holding a few ounces (about right for a single ample serving), is near the bacon and other presilced deli meats and makes a quite respectable SOS. ground beef is, or course, simply ground beef.

                  1. re: howard 1st

                    Thanks for explaining the history of the thing. I'll look for the Armour beef and if not that try the deli :)

            2. The Baranoff on Greenwood has it on the menu.

              1 Reply
              1. re: creo420

                i just checked them and they are exactly what I was looking for. Not too far from I-5 either.

                That's perfect. Thanks so much !