Veterans and military families alike can tell you one thing: shit on a shingle makes for a delicious lunch or dinner. While it may not sound appetizing, this chipped beef recipe loaded with creamy gravy is comfort food on a plate. So where did this creamed chipped beef on toast get its name and why is it so popular?

What is S.O.S (Shit on a Shingle)?

While no one knows who created the name or recipe, Atlas Obscura shares the unofficial term became popular during World War II when the military dish was served to soldiers. Any creamed meat served on toast was called many nicknames including "'Creamed Foreskins on Toast' and 'Shit on a Raft,' depending on the upon the ingredients and division of soldiers eating it"

The first recipe for the creamed beef on toast comes from the 1910 Manual for Army Cooks and uses beef stock, evaporated milk, parsley, flour, butter, and dried beef. During World War II, soldiers used chipped beef in place of dried.

Welcome to Countryside Cooking! We are cooking S.O.S with a special guest, my dad!Get the recipe: https://www.wideopeneats.com/recipes/sos/

Posted by Wide Open Eats on Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Once home from the war, soldiers craved the shit on a shingle recipe and shared it with their families, creating home recipes that got passed down. Instead of serving this SOS recipe in the mess halls, families enjoyed it around the dinner table.

How to Make SOS

Chop your chipped beef roughly and set it aside. If you are sensitive to salt, rinse the beef.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook the roux for a minute. Whisk in the milk gradually and season with ground nutmeg, ground onion powder, ground garlic powder, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, and a squirt of mustard. Cook until thick and season the white sauce with black pepper. Stir in the chipped beef and set the heat to low.

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Meanwhile, toast your bread. Once toasted, top with the beef mixture and sprinkle with parsley.

You can also make this recipe with ground beef, cooking the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned and no longer pink. Traditionally this hamburger gravy is served on toast but you can serve it over mashed potatoes or use it in a breakfast casserole.

Watch: What is Deep South Chocolate Gravy?


S.O.S Chipped Beef on Toast 

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes

servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 2.5 oz jar chipped beef
  • 8 slices bread

Instructions

Chop your chipped beef roughly and set it aside. If you are sensitive to salt, rinse the beef.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook the roux for a minute. Whisk in the milk gradually and season with ground nutmeg, ground onion powder, ground garlic powder, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, and a squirt of mustard. Cook until thick and season the white sauce with black pepper. Stir in the chipped beef and set the heat to low.

Meanwhile, toast your bread. Once toasted, top with the beef mixture and sprinkle with parsley.