Dinner Tonight: Chipped Beef Gravy

"I can't be the only one who grew up with this meal."

[Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger]

Call it what you will: creamed chipped beef, "Stew On a Shingle," or some other variation of S.O.S. It's all the same and no matter how you attempt to present it, the plate will always look like a mess. There is just no hiding that this is just dried beef served with a simple gravy on toast.

The meat comes from a little baggy that has been dried, smoked, and salted. It's not exactly a delicacy, but I can't be the only one who grew up with 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 tastes?

It's impossible to say. If you didn't grow up with this dish, you might not find the dried beef to have the best texture, and there is no doubt the gravy is stick-to-your-ribs heavy. There is no acid or vinegar to cut through any of this.

And yet, I couldn't help but fall for this humble dish. Maybe it's the memory of past meals, or the fact that it's shockingly cheap. I'm just glad to reacquaint myself with the classic.

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Dinner Tonight: Chipped Beef Gravy

About This Recipe

Yield:2
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 ounces dried beef lunch meat (Buddy brand is recommended), sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 slices white bread

Procedures

  1. 1

    Add the butter to a large saucepan set over medium heat. When melted, sprinkle in the flour. Whisk constantly until there are no lumps, about a minute until the roux has slightly darkened.

  2. 2

    Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until there are no lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens, just a couple minutes.

  3. 3

    Add a pinch of the grated nutmeg, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and a crack of black pepper. Stir well, and then add the dried beef. Cook for a couple minutes to warm the beef. Season the mixture with salt to taste, but remember that the beef is already salty. So taste first. Meanwhile, toast the bread.

  4. 4

    Place the pieces of toast on two separate plates. Pour half of the mixture on two each slice. Serve.

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