Appearances aren’t EVERYTHING! Let’s just remember that even when you were awkward with puberty and tight with braces, you wanted to be asked to dance. Often, the less than perfect pups at the pound can be the biggest lovers. And, the rattiest t-shirt in your drawer likely offers the most comfort. No, this recipe is not likely to grace the pages of Gourmet, Bon Appetit or Saveur any time soon. Yes, I was hesitant to photograph and post about it thinking that some things are best left in one’s personal repertoire. However, this is one of my favorite lunches and all-time favorite comfort foods. So, it is making a Whipped debut in the hopes that you won’t judge this recipe before trying it.

When I was a child, my mom often served us Creamed Beef on Toast. It was a quicky Sunday lunch or dinner on babysitter nights. It is fast, easy, salty, warm and filling. My husband thinks it is absolutely disgusting and it isn’t exactly the sort of thing you would serve guests. So, this favorite is relegated to the days when I happen to find myself home alone for lunch.

Also known by some as Chipped Beef on Toast, Cream Dried Beef and in some circles, Shit on a Shingle, you will find this dish on the daily lunch menu of nursing homes in Iowa, in military cafeterias and in the Whipped kitchen.

Creamed Beef on Toast

Makes 2 servings:
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 8oz. package beef lunch meat (I use Budding brand)
salt & pepper
2 slices of toast

Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook a minute. Whisk in milk slowly. Cook on low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Add salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg to taste. Cut beef slices into small 1 inch squares. Stir into the sauce. Spoon mixture over a slice of toast.

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46 Responses to “Not Every Dish Can Be the Belle of the Ball”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    isn’t it funny how sometimes the nastiest looking things are indeed the tastiest? it sounds like your husband (and guests) are missing out!

  2. jen j-m Says:

    this was total comfort food when i was a kid. my mom called it chipped beef on toast, and we too had it when the babysitters came. :) yours looks yummy. when you post stuff like this it makes me totally love your blog even more than usual.

  3. rachel Says:

    We called it creamed chipped beef. It’s been years since I’ve had it. YUM!

  4. Roomie Says:

    My grandmother used to make this for my brother and I…legit.

  5. EB Says:

    I’ve heard of this but never had it. It sure looks like perfect comfort food to me. Food does not have to be beautiful to be great. Enjoy your lunch — photos be damned!

  6. Anne Says:

    Ah… creamed chipped beef, as it was called when I was growing up. It was a comfort food specialty of my grandmother’s. Enter my boyfriend (now my husband) raised by British colonials (a New Zealander and a South African) he had not grown up with this dish (though it seems quite British to me). He comes to visit at Granny’s, she aims to please and presents the creamed chip beef with a flourish…he turns pale. Turns out the only time he had ever seen or smelled the stuff was the one night he had spent in a Virginia jail! He literally could not touch it. Needless to say, it has not been a family favorite in our marraige. But now I have a new idea for lunches alone.

  7. Julie Says:

    Yep, chipped beef on toast was a family end-of-the-month regular when I was growing up. Another version we ate had tuna (and sometimes peas!): a thrifty way to make a small can of tuna feed seven for supper.

    (P.S. Recently discovered your blog, and I love it.)

  8. amanda Says:

    talk about total comfort food!

  9. Scott Says:

    My wife makes this, but she includes peas. I have to be in the proper frame of mind to enjoy it, but when I am, I really like it…

  10. Cakespy Says:

    What unappetizing (but awesome) names! Well, whatever it is it looks good! I have never heard of this comfort food dish before, but then again I grew up in NJ where it was all about PORK ROLL.

  11. Liz Says:

    I’m sorry to say that when I was around 8 years old and my parents were out of town, I was served this by an elderly babysitter. Then we made carmel popcorn balls (fun!) and then I got the stomach flu. It was 20 years before I could eat anything remotely creamy and I still get sick if I smell melting carmel. Sorry, Caroline ~ I will not be trying this at home.

  12. sponge cake bob Says:

    we called it creamed chipped beef too. my grandmother would make the bechamel with a pinch of fresh nutmeg, then slice the dried beef that she picked up from butcher billy and let it swim in the cream for an hour..all on top of crisp white sandwich bread.

  13. Larry Greth Says:

    My Mother made this with mashed taters.
    Shit on the shingles was at least once a month for years.
    My Dad says it was diff. in the Navy made with Hamburger and tomatoe sauce on toast.
    Larry Greth

  14. juniorsince Says:

    Holy moly! Now, that’s a blast from the past, girl. Brings back memories of when we were pups.

  15. Rachel Says:

    My mom used to make this for me whenever I was sick. Always a comfort food. We called it Chipped beef and she also used Carl buddig meat. Now Im craving it, but like you my husband thinks its nasty, so I hardly ever make it.

  16. Neen Says:

    “on the daily lunch menu of nursing homes in Iowa, in military cafeterias and in the Whipped kitchen.” Giggle. great line.

  17. Diane Says:

    We use hamburger as the meat and call it shit on the shingles. Never used corned beef. I do not like corned beef for some reason lol

  18. Alli Says:

    I love cream chip beef!! My mom makes it for me every year on my birthday, but recently we can no longer find the Carl Budding Beef :(

  19. Ann Says:

    Isn’t it funny? I was just thinking about Chipped Beef last night. And how much I miss it, living in Colorado (originally hailing from Philadelphia).

    Thanks for adding the recipe : )

  20. Pigs in a Blanket Recipe - Whipped Says:

    [...] Sometimes I am reminded just how much I am a down-home midwestern girl at heart. Like when I admit that I love Cream Chipped Beef for lunch. Or, when I make Spaghetti Pie for dinner like I did last night. Or, when I come clean and admit that Pigs in a Blanket are not only the easiest and the most processed hors d’oeuvre in my repertoire… but also my favorite. [...]

  21. Justin Says:

    Ahh, Chipped Beef! This is one of my favorite dishes my mother used to make. We always ate it on Mashed potatoes though and liked that better than toast. A great addition to the recipe is a couple chopped up hard boiled eggs. Ill be making some soon! SOS was very different in my house… My dad always made it with Hamburger and cream of Mushroom soup served on toast or occasionally egg noodles.

  22. Stephanie Says:

    I also cannot find the Carl Budding brand beef (Safeway still sells ham). Does anyone know where to find it?

    I wrap chicken breasts in bacon and then the chipped beef. Cover with a mixture of sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. Bake 2 hours at 275 – serve with steamed rice – yummy! It’s called Company Chicken.

  23. holly Says:

    My mom used to make this all the time when I was little. I hated it until I was a teenager then grew to appreciate it. I am now 24 and was looking at recipes for chicken on the kraft.com site came across creamed sauce chicken and thought of how I hadn’t had shit on the shingle since I left my parents house. Planning to make it this week. Can’t wait. By the way kraft.com does not have the recipe shame on them.:) Thx for the recipe.

  24. Eric Says:

    This takes me back to being a kid for sure. We had this often. I used to get my mom mad because I loved that dried beef so much that I would get into the jar (it came in a jar where the lid popped off and could not be put back on) and the rest would dry out before she got to use it! Thanks for the flashback and the recipe.

  25. Emil Says:

    I hail from PA and the first time I had this dish was visiting college friends and eating it in a diner in Kutztown, PA in Dutch country after a heavy night of drinking (great for a hangover). You wouldn’t find a diner there that DIDN’T have cream chipped beef on toast on their breakfast menu. Since then, I’ve moved to New Jersey, and no diners here serve it. Years ago, Stouffers used to make a boil-in-a-pouch version (not as good, of course, but still acceptable)that you could find in the frozen breakfast aisle of your supermarket, but I can’t find that anymore either. So thanks for the recipe! Apparently, it’s a lot easier to make than I thought.

  26. Andrew Says:

    My wife doesn’t like this at all, I remember it as a kid and love to have it when alone for a quick meal too. I have also found you can use pretty much any type of meat you have in your house. I sometimes like to add bacon, just simply microwave it dice it up and toss it in, instead of the beef. Always a quick and nice comfort food.

  27. Dinner Tonight: Chipped Beef Gravy | Recipes for Everyone Says:

    [...] this meal. I have a serious sentimental attachment to chipped beef so when I found this version on Whipped, I had to give a chance. But would it stand up to my grown-up [...]

  28. melissa Says:

    i made corned beef the other night for st pats day, i had some leftovers and this is one of my favorite dishes from my childhood so i knew what i was doing with the leftovers. I made the bechamel sauce but added gruyere cheese and fresh ground nutmeg then the leftover corned beef.. made some rosemary garlic toast and this was atleast an 8 in my house!!! one of the best comfort foods around!

  29. Lissa Says:

    Thanks for the recipe! My mom made this on a regular basis as well..also one of my favorites! Decided to try it as one of our buget dinners tonight and can not get ahold of my mom for the recipe! This is definatley it! Thanks again…we’ll see if my husband thinks it is disgusting as well.

  30. Tiffany Says:

    My mom used to make “Chipped Beef on Toast” (Carl Buddig Brand) on a regular basis when I was growing up. We all loved it. Grew up in suburban Maryland. She also made Swiss Steak, “Maryland” fried chicken, fried chicken gizzards, and all kinds of other comfort foods. (Fried soft shell crabs!) To tell you the truth, I miss my mom so much. She ALWAYS put a nice meal on the table for our family. Many meals were actually a lot healthier than what most people eat today, although you wouldn’t gather that from this post…

  31. Danielle Says:

    I grew up in PA (PA Dutch) and this was a regular breakfast for us. Especially when all of us got together for celebrations. I now make this for my kids and they LOVE it! Yes, it looks disgusting, but tastes oh so good. We always have called it S.O.S. (Ish on the Shingles) The trick is to get the Cream right, oh and don’t put the chipped beef in the mixture until its almost complete, or you will end up w/ a very salty SOS.

  32. Steve Says:

    I grew up eating this stuff and in the US Navy I had it more than I want to think about. I always called it SOS. Tonight I tried making it with no milk ha, ha,. I ran out and I used Budding beef and some beef broth and a little flour and it was pretty bad. I’m using yourrecipe the next time…

  33. Linda Middleton Says:

    Try this over Cornbread instead of toast or white bread! Oscar’s (a restaurant) at the Waldorf Astoria in NY City in the 1980s gets credit for my trying this dish on Cornbread the first time. My Grandma served it with homemade biscuits. Prefer this dish be made with Armor beef in the little glass jar with the snap off top.

  34. Belle Says:

    My mother made this and the entire family (of nine) enjoyed it. I have never made it and decided that for dinner tonight, I would. Never got the recipe from my mother and Googled it. Thanks for sharing it.

  35. dave Says:

    Ole S.O.S. we made that in the us navy for decades, it was hamburg with milk and some salt pork (like a sloppy joe without the gravey) i first had it in the late 50′s, my dad said they made it all the time in the CC Camps before ww2, then in the army also, if you havent tried it, you dont know what your missing!

  36. dave Says:

    best way to find the recipe is ask some old war vets, the ww2 american legion guys that are always collecting money on the holidays, ask him if he had any shit on shingles in the army. you’ll get the recipe and a few stories to boot.

  37. Nikita Says:

    Yes, this has always been a tasty treat, and your picture looks delicious. I prefer it on potatoes though instead of bread. It gives it more substance and it becomes more of a meal. If you haven’t had it on potatoes I strongly suggest you try it. Whatever kind of potatoes you prefer, I like mashed, but baked or fried slices are ok too. It’s great and more filling that way. :)

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  40. Ashley Lynn Says:

    We called it SOS (S*** On The Shingles) :p I Haven’t Had It In Forever!! Might Make It This Weekend Though!! I Never Heard About Using Nutmeg Though? Is It Optional?

  41. Mark Says:

    Growing up poor inan Alaskan fishing village, this was a welcome alternative from fish!!!! I make it once inawhile for myself but the city raisedwifeandkids wont touch it. More for me haha. And ive only known itby one name my whole life.

  42. Annie Says:

    Ok… not only does this dish look delicious, but it made me smile. Also – It shows us budding cook/bloggies that even when the dish doesn’t look magazine perfect – it’s still delicious enough to share. :)

  43. Elise Says:

    Thank you! I appreciate it and it made me smile! A familiar smell or taste can bring back lots of good memories this meal is taking me back to my grandma’s home. Thanks :)

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  46. Kari Williams Says:

    My grandmother used to make this for me as a special treat as a child when I spent the night. She did add peas, and served it in Pepperidge Farm Puffed Pastry Shells. She always made things extra special :)

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