Creamed Chipped Beef (no shingle)

Something of a Mom Food standard, creamed chipped beef on toast is prettier–and yummier–than I expected it to be.

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Go ahead; get it out of your system. Yes, fine, call it “shit on a shingle”—my dad would. But then my dad was in the Navy for twenty years; do you really want to talk like a sailor?

creamed chipped beef on toast

Now, I should quickly point out that this is not my Mom Food. My mom’s half-Italian, half-Jewish, and exactly zero percent the type of person to decide to rehydrate dried salted beef and put a cream sauce on it. (Mom, did I disclaim that strongly enough?)

That said, it’s come up often enough in my Mom Food discussions with people that I think it’s relevant here. Besides, it’s funny food, and funny food always gets my vote.

Anyway, the stuff is surprisingly tasty and, not surprisingly, filling. After all, it has fed US troops for so long that they gave it an excremental name. This version, however, has not been sitting in an MRE pack for a year and a half, and is not being consumed because there’s nothing else to eat.

I don’t know why I’m trying to convince you. Either you won’t touch the stuff on principle, or you’re just the kind of food geek to try it just for fun, the way I did. I ended up liking it, but would never make it a regular part of our rotation, as much because of the salt as anything else. Even after de-salting the meat, the dish is pretty sodium-rich, and while we’re not extra-careful about that around here, super-salty foods aren’t our norm, either.

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

1 small jar (5 oz. or so) dried beef
1 batch medium white sauce (see this post for directions on making medium white sauce; onions are optional, but I use them)
pepper to taste (you won’t need salt)
something to serve it on (toast, biscuits, noodles…)

To de-salt the beef, slice or chop it, then drop into a small pot of boiling water (or pour boiling water over it in a bowl) and let it sit for 30 seconds. Drain, and the salt will drain out with it. [Edit: In comments, Lisa says that in a pinch, you can just rinse the meat to remove the salt. Good to know!]

Make white sauce. Add de-salted beef. Serve over toast or whatever you’re serving it over. Voila!

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Author: Serene

I run The Mom Food Project, which was born out of love for my mom and a desire to preserve the recipes of my childhood, which didn't actually exist in written form until I quizzed my mom and wrote the recipes down.

7 thoughts on “Creamed Chipped Beef (no shingle)”

  1. My dad was an airplane mechanic on the USS John Hancock in the South Pacific during World War II. He loved SOS, and my mom used to make it quite often. I like it too, but taking the salt out of it is new to me. We used the fully-salted version.

    Unfortunately, I have failed to find a source of chipped beef here in England, so no SOS for us.

    I was going to make creamed onions this weekend, so thinking about creamed chipped beef just makes me want to do that more.

    1. I looked to see if americansoda.co.uk (the company I bought your Fritos from, the Fritos that may never get there) had chipped beef, but I didn’t see any. I can mail you some, though. :-)

      (I tried it once without desalting the meat, and it was literally inedible to me. Someone said to me, “OH, didn’t you know you’re supposed to soak it to get the salt out?” and I felt so dumb. I don’t feel as dumb now. :-)

      1. Hm, perhaps the amount of salt depends on where you get the chipped beef from. Mom got it in plastic pouches, and I cannot for the life of me remember the brand name. Perhaps the beef in jars was saltier than that in the pouches. One of those little mysteries of Momfood that may remain forever obscure.

  2. I made this just last week-I have to make it when the husband isn’t home for dinner since he doesn’t like THIS version (his mom substituted hamburger for the chipped beef-um yuck!)
    It’s one of my comfort foods…

    I rinse the beef in a hurry-it does a good kob of desalting it, too.

    1. Hee! Carin’s mom did the hamburger version and called it “hamburger gravy”. I make it for her sometimes, over potatoes.

      Thanks for the rinsing tip; I’ll add it to the post.

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