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