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Anyone still using chipped beef?

I've been wanting to make "authentic" SOS using chipped beef. The problem is I just can't get myself to buy it. I'll have the jar in hand, but when I look at the stuff and what's next to it on the shelf (usually pickled pig's feet), I end up putting the jar back and backing away.

In my mind that stuff is just over salted beef jerky/shoe leather.

Am I wrong?
What dishes do you use the dried beef in?

Thanks

PS... I know there are recipes for SOS calling for ground beef, but I'm trying to get the courage to try the chipped beef version. :-)

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  1. Why do you want the authentic version? fond memories from your service days, or curiosity? The whole purpose to serving it in a cream sauce is to moisten and 'dilute' the salty dried beef. The modern jarred stuff is a refined version of an old way of preserving meat without refrigeration or canning. Like other salt dried items (e.g. salt cod) it can be soaked in water before further use.

    There's nothing to keep you from serving left over roast beef in a cream sauce. Usually people use the beef drippings or stock to make the gravy, but it could just as well be milk. Or you could try another old fashioned idea, and fry up some salt pork, and serve that in a milk gravy.

    3 Replies
      1. re: dave_c

        Actually, "authentic" creamed chipped beef (aka "Sh*t On a Shingle" if you were ever in the military) really isn't all that bad. In fact, my mom used to serve it to us over toast, sometimes with one or two quartered hard-boiled eggs added as well. And she bought the stuff in the jar. Don't recall her doing any soaking or anything - just chopping it up & adding it to a quantity of plain white (aka Bechamel) sauce. It can't be all that bad, as it sometimes turns up on breakfast/brunch menus - someone must be enjoying it.

        The worst that can happen is that you won't care for it & thus won't bother making it again. No big deal. But it is kind of a fun "blast from the past" for a lot of folk.

        1. re: Bacardi1

          I agree that it's not bad at all- and I am the type that turns up my nose at most processed prepacked meats. My grandfather used to serve it now and then, I suppose for memory's sake, and I remember really enjoying it. I believe his came from some type of bag, like the way bacon is packed for supermarkets- but if I were ever to make it again, I'd make my own cream sauce.

    1. Yep.

      I buy it on occasion to may homemade SOS. Yum!!!!

      The Armour brand in the clear jar is OK, but I much prefer the dried/chipped beef that is similar but kept chilled back in the hang peg cooler section of my local stores back with the packaged lunch meats. My stores have it in a non vac'd bag but sealed and protected just like the rest.

      It's a little softer and tends to have a nicer and less "jerky-like" texture after cooking but it is indeed still dried beef, just packaged differently and prolly of a lesser vintage, so to say...LOL...

      I;ve also used the Carl Buddig brand beef in the package as well as it is close. If too soft, I often take it out of the package and chop up and then spread out on a cookie sheet in the refridge overnignt or as long as it takes for it to dry out to your preferred texture. Since it's processed, little heath harm but gets you where you need to be for any SOS recipe.

      I'll be honest and the Armour is only my last line of choice as it does tend to be a bit too leathery for my tastes.

      8 Replies
      1. re: jjjrfoodie

        Carston air dried beef is very good for SOS. Stouffer's (frozen) in boil in bag is pre made and also good. Add a dash of worschestershire sauce, pour over English muffin....great.

        1. re: johnnyb510

          It's good to know that Stouffer's is a good alternative. I've balked at buying the Armour jar at $15/lb, even knowing it is a dried product. I haven't seen the smaller pouches in a sometime.

          1. re: johnnyb510

            Sounds like the frozen version might be good enough for me to get an "authentic" taste SOS without having to buy the jarred stuff. If I like frozen stuff, I may give the jarred stuff a try.

            1. re: dave_c

              Stouffer's has a pretty good frozen version.

                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                  +2 for Stouffers- always keep a package on hand. On white toast with tiny peas on top.

                  1. re: Berheenia

                    Stouffers or homemade, put it over a baked potato for a super dinner!

          2. re: jjjrfoodie

            Texture is a big part of the difference between SOS made with ground beef and chipped beef. I can see where a person could have preferences, not too dry and leathery, but not too soft, like a deli meat.

            Chipped beef lean, so does not contribute a lot of flavor to the gravy, except for saltiness. So it has more of a beef in cream sauce character, as opposed to beef in its own gravy.

          3. mmmmm now I have a craving for SOS, it has been years. Growing up we had it with both chipped beef - and sometimes leftover turkey, both very tasty. Like bacardi posted above I remember it with hard boiled eggs but also with peas. mmmmmmm yum

            1 Reply
            1. re: thimes

              Yeah, when I was just a little sprout, my dad used to get his paycheck every 3 weeks, & we always knew when the end of the month was coming, because we'd be enjoying (& I really do mean enjoying - mom was a terrific cook, regardless of what she had to work with) "SOS", "Curried Hard-Boiled Eggs", "Beef Stew", & other more economical dishes than her usual experimental & more upscale fare.

            2. dave_c, every (very rare) now and again, I'll get the urge for SOS made with chipped beef as sold in the Hormel container. I understand why you are daunted, because it looks like a version of Budd's pressed meats, only all dry, and chip-like. Right?
              Okay, so consider this. You have the drive to work with it, so work with it respectfully. Use stock and real cream to rehydrate the strips of beef. Work slow; lightly brown up slew of onions, diced, and lend their flavors to the meat along with some salt and pepper. Be easy with the salt, as it will leach out of the meat even further during the cooking process. Add a drop or two of hot sauce; not enough to taste, but enough to sparkle the dish,make it flavorsome. Bake fresh biscuits, and ladle the SOS over. Don't be scared; take a bite. Ahhh. Stips of salty beef in creamy beefy gravy over flaky buttered biscuit.....wow. Nothing about this is wrong.

              5 Replies
              1. re: mamachef

                but at what point does that extra care turn the dish into something quite different? :)

                1. re: paulj

                  I don't believe that it does, paulj. It's chipped beef in cream sauce, so it qualifies as SOS, but it's a refined version. Now, if I were to substitute strips of tenderloin for the chipped beef, I'd have to agree with you, but my version is nummy and it's definitely SOS. :)

                  1. re: mamachef

                    tenderloin? SOS as served to a Russian count? :) Add some mushrooms and a touch of sour cream ...

                    1. re: paulj

                      Right? It instantly made me think of "Poor Man's Stroganoff."

                2. re: mamachef

                  Daunting indeed. I don't know what to make of the rounds of meat in a jar.

                  Your advice sounds very nice and delicious! Also, your recipe sounds very straightforward that a monkey could make it. (TC quote from Hung ).

                3. We buy the Oscar Meyer brand, not in a jar, but in a sealed bag sold with the packaged deli meats. Actually, I should say that my mom buys it...I can't have it in the house or I'd have creamed chipped beef on toast 3 meals a day, every day.

                  FWIW, I've never seen the stuff in a jar.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Christina D

                    Christina, years ago it was sold in a jar. BTW if you really like Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast, try the Stouffer's frozen. My husband was probably the only surviving World War II veteran who liked CCB on T and did not call it by its rude name and he delighted in the Stouffer's.

                  2. This is delicious: Butter a baking dish. Line it with an entire package of dried chipped beef. On top of this lay boneless skinless chicken breasts. On top of the chicken lay strips of bacon. Mix a can of Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken Soup with 1/2 pint of sour cream and pour this over the top. Bake at 275 for about an hour and a half or until slo-oo-owly done. For the last half-hour put some sliced almonds on the top. I've also seen a variant recipe in which the chicken is wrapped in the chipped beef and I once was served this dish when it had been going all day in the crock pot--- we went home for dinner with the hostess who was a co-worker. So you have a wide margin to fool around but the combination is surprisingly good.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Querencia

                      I was introduced to this back in the 70's at one of my dinner group's meals. You're right, it's surprisingly good. That chipped beef makes a yummy sauce served over rice. I find it helps to soak the dried beef briefly to remove some of the saltiness.

                      1. re: fleck

                        What I do is rinse it under running water as I line the casserole. Btw, butter isn't necessary ...

                      2. I don't eat red meat anymore, but if I did?

                        Oh MAN, I'd eat SOS every week!

                        My mom did make it from scratch, and it was awesome. But busy days it was banquet in the boil in bag - and it was still yummy.

                        And Dave C, sure I was a teenager but still, I'd take those strips of dried beef from the jar, spread them with cream cheese, roll them up, eat them - and be in heaven.

                        So do not mock the dried beef. It is your friend.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: happybaker

                          "So do not mock the dried beef. It is your friend."

                          No mocking, just a little fear. lol :-)

                        2. Back in the day my mother would put a block of cream cheese in a small covered casserole, cover the cheese with a package of chopped chipped beef and a large dollop of horseradish. This would be brought to a cocktail party, heated in the oven and stirred. Served with crackers it was the best warm appetizer.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Berheenia

                            I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but in the Midwest our table ( and all others, too ) were treated to a ramekin of dip very much like the one you describe, served up with a combination of breads and crackers. It was freakishly delicious and reminded me somewhat of the better Midwestern steak houses that used to serve chopped livah in the bar to waiting tables, and again when you're seated.

                            1. re: mamachef

                              "and reminded me somewhat of the better Midwestern steak houses that used to serve chopped livah in the bar to waiting tables, and again when you're seated."

                              That must have been a few ice ages ago. Steak houses are popular these days but even the dedicated red meat eaters are paranoid about clogged arteries and taking statins so will pass on the chopped liver appetizers of yore

                              What is foie gras but fancy schmancy chopped liver? My sister was telling me about a French restaurant she likes. She thought foie gras was made from a duck. I had to tell her it is duck or goose livers

                              1. re: zzDan

                                Yeah, I'm definitely ancient enough to remember that well. It's an outmoded tradition that isn't entirely gone, though. There's a local Meat Temple that still serves thick bacon pieces and meatballs to customers waiting for a table.
                                Technically speaking, foie gras IS made from a duck....just not the meat proper. And chopped livah is so far removed from it.......the only similarity is that they're both made from poultry liver, but the similarity ends there.

                            2. Oh, happy SOS memories from childhood! We always made it with the buddig package. I never knew you could get chipped beef in a jar.

                              For one of our annual family gatherings, I try to include one of our childhood dishes. Lash year I made SOS appetizer--Small toasts with a bowl of the chipped beef in white sauce to put on the toasts. Tasty small bites.

                              1. Yes, I buy it for "Grandmother's chicken" occasionally ... it's the chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, covered in sour cream + cream of mushroom ... and can only be properly made by lining the casserole with dried beef.

                                1. Mom used to make this, loved it, she saved the jars for small drinking glasses.

                                  1. Omigosh, this takes me back! We used to have it sometimes -- from a jar -- in a bechamel over rice, and Mother once served it at a hoity-toity brunch, gussied up with chopped red peppers and I-don't-remember-what-else, over her flaky homemade biscuits, and the women in their fancy dresses and pearls loved it! Must've been 40 years ago, and I still remember how good that was.

                                    Thanks for the memories....

                                    1. I use it in a dip:
                                      1 package/jar Dried Beef
                                      1 bunch Scallions
                                      1 lb. Cream Cheese
                                      Chop beef into very small dice (or use food processor) and slice scallions and fold into cream cheese. Form into ball or log and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Great with celery, crackers, or spread on a bagel.
                                      People will never guess what it is!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: ockitchenqueen

                                        Thanks, kitchenqueen. I'll have to try.

                                        1. re: ockitchenqueen

                                          I haven't made this for some time but it was always a hit at parties.

                                          1. re: ockitchenqueen

                                            My mom did this but used chopped green olives instead of the scallions. I remember her using scissors to cut the beef up. Yum.

                                            1. re: pcdarnell

                                              Mom's and their clever use of scissors. Good stuff!

                                          2. Have a feeling those little bags of dried beef hang around for a LONG time. Because of the nature of dried beef... they're "good" for a LONG time. A lot of people balk at the $12+/lb on the stuff at the deli counter, but I think it's far superior to bagged stuff. First, it's fresher... and the deli person can slice/chip it up for ya. I have a thing about having any deli meat (and cheese) sliced REALLY thin. Might be my imagination (but don't think so) but think it tastes better thin?!?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: kseiverd

                                              Where do you find chipped (or just dried) beef at the deli counter? I did get some Italian style Bresaola from a butcher once, but that's not the same thing.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                The local Kroger's around here keeps the bagged style not at the meat counter itself but on the hang pegs in the refridgerted meat section next to the pre-packaged deli meats and next to the bacon, ham hocks and salt pork.

                                                I noticed that the dried beef came in the poofie bag a few years back while looking for it for doing some odd recipe and parusing the specialty bacon as well.

                                                I have to go to Kroger's tomorrrow. I'll confirm what brand it is, it';s location and bag size and post here with the info paulj.

                                                I abhore the Armor beef in teh jar in the canned tuna aisle on teh top shelf LOL, and was elated when i found a local alternative.

                                            2. SOS is one of my fav comfort foods. I tend to make it for lunch or when the hubby is out of town...this and tuna noodle casserole with potato chips on top. Occasionally I buy the Stouffers version which is not at all bad.

                                              Darn, it's 95 here and you've got me craving this now! (It usually is a Winter craving.)

                                              BTW, I use the Buddigs package and not the jarred type. Would that make a difference?

                                              I probably eat this 3 or 4 times a year so I figure it isn't too bad if I indulge myself on occasion.

                                              1. My mother made SOS with both the Buddig and the jarred stuff when I was growing up. My dad and sister gobbled it, but as with most of these types of things, I refused to touch it. I just wasn't interested! (Still not, actually)

                                                Fast forward to now, and my mother and sister are the pickiest eaters that I've ever seen! And I eat more things than they will even look at....funny how things change! My taste buds just didn't love that sixties and seventies food, I guess....

                                                1. I made SOS last week, but it had been years and I forgot to rinse the beef first to take away most of the salt. My Mom and I used to order it for breakfast whenever we stayed at the Regency Hotel in NYC. Talk about guilty pleasures.

                                                  1. I love creamed chipped beef, but save it as a treat when I can get to the PA Dutch market where the butcher does his own air-dried beef that is superior to the commercially available versions. It is much drier and has a richer flavor, and it looks like actual shaved meat.

                                                    Even with the good meat, I make mine a little spiffed up for my taste, adding a small amount of sauteed onion or shallot, plus dashes of worcestershire sauce, sherry and hot sauce to the cream sauce. Not "authentic" but it's what I like. When I've made it with the packaged chipped beef, I sizzle the beef in the butter until the edges start to look slightly crispy which makes the texture better for my tastes.

                                                    As for other uses, my mother made a dish using chipped beef when we were growing up: chicken breasts with chipped beef slices underneath and the whole thing wrapped in bacon, then topped with cream of mushroom soup with white wine and sour cream poured over and baked. I've never gone that route, myself. I also remember cream cheese speads with chipped beef back in the 60s and 70s, though I haven't seen them since. Guess chipped beef isn't the sexy ingredient of the moment.

                                                    1. I just made it last night with it. It is great...always enjoyed it when I came in from hunting with dad and grandpa. Now my son is enjoying my memories with me. When using the jar of Homel make sure to wash each piece of beef slice real well under running cold water, it is VERY salty. When gravy is done just shred up the chipped beef. Better then burger or sausage.

                                                      1. I love creamed chipped beef, probably because mother made it often at the end of the month. Comfort food I guess.

                                                        But as an adult, I do add some things that Mom didn't. I got the idea from Joy of Cooking, there's a recipe for it in "brunch, lunch and supper" chapter of my old edition which calls for: minced onion, minced green pepper, chopped chives or parsley (whoohoo, I add both!), a little sherry, and chopped capers (or dill pickles).

                                                        It's really good this way, just add a couple tablespoons of everything except capers, which are pretty powerfully salty and you only need a little, a teaspoon or so. If using cucumber dill pickles, maybe a tablespoon. This recipe is for 8 oz of dry beef, I use much less, generally only four ounces to about 2 1/2 c white sauce made with milk and unsalted butter. Improved in my opinion by plenty of black pepper. On toast, or biscuit (don't add much salt to the biscuit).

                                                        I usually don't rinse the beef and usually use the Armour product, as that's what they sell hereabouts. I do crisp it up in the butter before I add the onions, green pepper and parsley to saute a little pre-sauce.

                                                        1. My mom used to make this, served with biscuits and home fries, and we all loved it. She saved the jars for juice glasses.

                                                          I liked to steal a few pieces and set them out to dry for a few days, to eat like a potato chip. Talk about salty!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: DebinIndiana

                                                            Oh my. That potato chip move sounds DIVINE!

                                                          2. My mother always made gravy from chipped beef. It was really good.

                                                            1. Mom made the usual base for white sauce: 1 tbsp margarine/butter melted to dissolve 1 tbsp flour with 1 C milk whisked in to complete the 'gravy'. She then added the cheap store brand of chipped beef, packaged at around 4/$1.00, using 1 2 oz package; Buddig I believe.

                                                              I've since upped my recipe from Moms base using Armour dried beef and adding sliced mushrooms; no additional seasonings needed due to the plentiful sodium that comes from the sliced beef.

                                                              1. Love the Stouffer's brand that was mentioned down thread. I only tried it based on another thread here. My mom used to make it using the cheap bagged lunch meat.

                                                                I'm excited to try the dips listed, both the hot and the cold. My aunt used to make a dip with it that had cream cheese, sour cream, green peppers, and chipped beef...wonderful chip dip.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: brilynn79

                                                                  I tried a package of Stouffers the other day (from Grocery Outlet). Direct taste sample was ok, but it was bland when served over grits. And the meat to sauce proportion was well below my preference.

                                                                  One of these days I'll have to buy a jar - though at $15/lb it doesn't seem worth it (even though it is dried).

                                                                  My wife remembers her mom making it while camping. I remember it from lunches around 3rd grade.

                                                                  Thinly sliced turkey pastrami might be a passable less expensive substitute.

                                                                2. I use lower sodium dried beef and add a dash of soy while it's sauteing with butter.
                                                                  Amazing.

                                                                  1. Think of it as the meat version of Baccala!! Do you eat Bresaola? It is a true delicacy.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: ospreycove

                                                                      "Chipped beef is an air-dried product that is similar to bresaola, but not as tasty. It is often added to sauce or gravy and served on toast."
                                                                      Hormel
                                                                      http://web.archive.org/web/2007031105...

                                                                    2. A tip that some of y'all might find useful. I pay attention to types of "shelf-stable" meats and fish, sometimes trying them in recipes.

                                                                      A product that somewhat displaced classic US dried or "chipped" beef is the canned "corned beef" (under Hormel and other labels), which is in essence the SAME THING at slightly higher moisture content. Very long shelf life, unopened.

                                                                      "Corned Beef" is confusing. This canned stuff routinely has no added spices, such as "corned beef" implies in other US contexts -- just preserved chopped beef, similar to the "dried" pressed sheets. Can be used for same purposes.

                                                                      I occasionally make a flavorful beefy mushroom sauce for pasta, by slowly simmering a 12-oz can of "corned beef" in unsalted meat stock -- breaking it up with a spatula -- and in the last 20-30 minutes, adding an abundance -- a pound or more -- of sliced fresh mushrooms, cooking them in the mixture (and, sometimes, a little thickening via cornstarch). The canned product give the same flavor as fresh ground beef in the result. (This can really use a lot of mushrooms, as much as two pounds, making say 10 good servings, each containing just a little beef, for flavor.)

                                                                      My late father, a splendid creative cook, talked all his life about experience with "SOS" during military service in WW2. I guess he got more than his fill, since he never cooked the stuff himself during my lifetime, though he cooked other things constantly.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: eatzalot

                                                                        "In the United States and Canada, corned beef typically comes in two forms, a cut of beef (usually brisket, but sometimes round or silverside) cured or pickled in a seasoned brine, and canned (or 'tinned,' in British English) (cooked)."
                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corned_beef

                                                                        'corned' in corned beef is believed to come from 'corn' size grains of salt or curing salt, not the spices.

                                                                        I'm guessing from the Wiki article that the spiced brined version derives from the interaction of Jewish and Irish producers and customers in NYC a century ago.

                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipped_...
                                                                        Chipped beef is thinly sliced or pressed salted and dried beef

                                                                        While salted dried beef is ancient, the thinnly sliced Hormel version is probably has similar vintage as the canned corned beef from Uruguay and Brazil.

                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                          Correcting myself on a detail from initial response in this space (memo: do not rely on memory!) after checking four authoritative food ref. books (two British, two US). "Corn" does refer to the curing salts: phrase dates in print to 1621 [Mariani, 2013]. Traditional British term for the US canned product labeled "corned beef" is "bully beef" [Simon, 1952] and all such products are forms of the traditional genre "salt beef." (Side note: Patrick O'Brien's epic 20-volume nautical novels, set 200 years ago, portray the British navy sailors eating main courses that rotated through the week between salt beef, salt pork, and vegetarian.)

                                                                          Thus the unspiced but non-dried salt beef product dates back at least about 400 years. (Root et al. go into interesting history on the meat-canning industry's early struggles to produce a product that would remain firm and appealing when uncanned, which led to both reducing its moisture content, and packing it in tapered rectangular cans.)

                                                                          My point is that "corned beef" has another, more distinctive, very standard, understood, traditional meaning in the US -- I grew up cooking with it and reading about it, as in "corned beef and cabbage," Reuben sandwiches, etc. Solid brisket (not random chopped beef), prepared by butchers (not canned), and with many spices -- allspice etc. -- often whole. So the term indeed is ambiguous. Those defining spices are absent from the canned commodity labeled "corned beef." You would not use the canned "corned beef" in standard US "corned-beef" deli sandwiches, or "corned beef and cabbage."

                                                                          I have asked local mainstream grocers about getting "real" (spiced) corned beef for cooking uses, and been told they now stock it only around St. Patrick's Day.

                                                                          1. re: eatzalot

                                                                            I've made corned beef (just store brand) for the past 2 st. Patty's Days and this year, I vowed to make it more than once a year.
                                                                            Best. Reuben. Ever.

                                                                        2. re: eatzalot

                                                                          I just happened to be reading Miriam Ungerer's eclectic 1973 cookbook "Good Cheap Food" and she includes traditional creamed chipped (dried) beef, but with scallions added, and served over "smoking hot, freshly baked Idaho potatoes."

                                                                          Commenting that while still cheap to make, this is a particularly good combination and if it had been served to soldiers, properly made, it might have earned a more enthusiastic nickname.

                                                                        3. Call around to a local butcher, we get ours at one locally...Really good stuff. And I get to know where it comes from.

                                                                          1. Thank you for reviving this topic, or should I say reconstituting it. I had a huge craving for sos last night. It is damp and dreary here and some comfort food would be nice. The appetizer made with chipped beef sounds great too. I might try that instead.

                                                                            1. I have some leftover thin sliced tri tip with chopped white onions that was a cheeseless Philly cheesesteak last night. I also still have some hard boiled eggs from Easter. I LOVE what we called Eggs Goldenrod growing up. Basically the chopped whites in a bechamel, over toast, with the crumbled yolks on top. So I am thinking of combining the two for dinner tonight. What do you think? Bechamel with thiny sliced "cheesesteak" beef & hard boiled egg whites, over toast with crumbled egg yolks on top? Or maybe over wide egg noodles?

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Shannonsjac

                                                                                The "let's make do" idea is excellent. I think the egg noodles are inspired. We'd just say "white sauce" in my world but you could add foreign items..pepper...garlic....

                                                                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                  Thank you. Mine really is just a white sauce. I almost never put nutmeg in and I almost always put garlic in it, and just about everything else too. Roasted is my fave. It must be something about living so close to Gilroy!

                                                                              2. First, SOS and Creamed Chipped beef, are not the same thing, SOS is creamed ground beef, Creamed Chipped Beef is the same milk gravy base with chipped beef, not ground beef

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: DirkByrd

                                                                                  Welcome to Chowhound, DirkByrd.

                                                                                  Please recognize that you are asserting (unattributed) an unusual, eccentric definition there, at least from a US perspective. What was your source for it?

                                                                                  For example, Mariani's "Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink" (2013 ed.) is only the latest of countless reference sources defining SOS explicitly and exclusively as creamed chipped [or dried] beef on toast. 50 years ago I learned that definition as the standard among US servicemen in the second world war (according to my father, who was one of them -- and a cook), and every serious source I've seen since then has repeated it. (I already mentioned one such, Miriam Ungerer, earlier in this thread.)

                                                                                2. Stephanie's Creamed Chipped Beef

                                                                                  2-1/2 oz. Jar of Armour Dried Beef
                                                                                  ¾ c. beef stock or water
                                                                                  2 T. butter, beef fat, or vegetable oil
                                                                                  3 T. all-purpose flour
                                                                                  1 c. milk
                                                                                  pepper
                                                                                  ½ t. Kitchen Bouquet
                                                                                  toast or biscuits

                                                                                  Slice dried beef into strips. In a small bowl, soak dried beef strips in hot water for 3 minutes to remove the salt. With hands squeeze water out of beef. In a skillet over medium heat toss in the beef & cook 2/3 minutes only to remove the water. Add fat & flour, stir until flour turns light brown. Add milk, stir until thick and comes to a boil. Stir in pepper to taste. Add Kitchen Bouquet and stir to blend. More milk can be used to thin the sauce. Serve over buttered toast. Serves 2.

                                                                                  “Jimmy” Morgan J. Dawes, taught Stephanie L. Dawes how to make this dish, he said the secret was browning the flour not only for taste (removes the paste like tang) but for a light brown sauce.

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                                                                                  My wife Stephanie made this often over the 50 years of our relationship and marriage. She passed away 2 months ago. This was my wife's recipe. This is very much comfort food for my son and I and we loved it. My wife was an extraordinary cook and we are trying to recreate some of her recipes. For many years, she made her own beef stock and would roast soup bones, add water, simmer, cool and remove the fat which she would freeze and save to add and intensify the flavor of the creamed chipped beef. The dried beef has very little fat content and benefitted from the added taste beef fat contributed. I used to buy Armour Dried Beef by the case from BuyTheCase.net which I found has gone out of business. The jarred beef has a practically unlimited shelf life, I always wanted it in the pantry for my wife, and I figured it would be good survival food as well. Our only complaint about the product was with manufacturer and a change in packaging. Originally the glass jars made perfect juice glasses with a straight tapered edge and we reused every one of them or gave them away. Some time ago, the company changed to a sharply rounded edge lip which are not as perfect for recycling as juice glasses. We never referred to this dish as SOS although my wife's father, who taught her to make it, may have originally acquired his taste for it while serving in the Coast Guard during WWII. I stumbled across this post when searching for the company where we used to buy chipped beef by the case.

                                                                                  Milton Sandy, Jr. 8/25/2014

                                                                                   
                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: thimes

                                                                                      Thank you. I'll try to find my wife's turkey ala king recipe which is what she did for leftover turkey. I think she used peas in it and pimento and it was equally as good but only a seasonal item around our house. Gravy in various permutations can make just about anything special I've found.

                                                                                  1. Get it at an old fasioned meat market they still sell it fresh and not caned. but not everywhere has it. I usually only find it in the Midwest and its best made in sos on toast or in a scalloped potatoe type casserole. Also with cream cheese in roll ups with a vegetable like asparagus