Creamed Chipped Dried Beef on Toast—A Real PA breakfast!

Rate this recipe

Average Rating

(5 / 5)

1 Person Rated This Recipe

Round these parts, go into any good diner worth its PA Dutch salt and you will see creamed chipped dried beef on toast on the menu. It may sound strange, but it really isn’t. In fact, I’ve decided that it’s the kissing cousin of biscuits and sausage gravy down South. Not sure of the relations to the west, but there are elements of chicken fried steak that are similar. I was shocked to learn recently that this recipe is more commonly known as “Sh*t on a Shingle.” The phrase seems to come from its overuse as a food in the army, which makes sense when you think about it. You use salted beef (long a staple of the farm) and dilute it with a quick gravy and serve it over bread that can just as easily be stale as fresh.

For a chilly fall or winter morning, it’s a breakfast that will stick to your ribs most of the day without being too fattening. Because really, when you break down the ingredients, it’s not that bad for you. Especially if you go organic, and go whole grain on the toast.  Plus, you can make it all in about 5 minutes.

Start with some chipped dried beef. You might need to search for it. My favorite place to get it is at Dietrich’s Meats. The Dietrichs’ meats aren’t organic, but they raise their own cows on grass locally, and do all their own processing. I have yet to find an organic source for dried beef. (Has anyone?) The phrase “chipped” refers to the cut of the beef: It means delicately, thinly sliced. And because it’s dried, it can be salty. This is a dish you don’t need to add salt to.

Creamed Chipped Dried Beef on Toast

Serves two people.

½ pound dried beef, chipped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup flour
1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 pieces whole grain toast

1. Put the olive oil in a pan and heat it up. Add the chipped dried beef and sauté.
2. Put the toast in the toaster and toast.
3. Mix the flour and water together in a cup until there are no lumps.
4. Add to the sautéed beef mixture and stir until it’s thickened like gravy (yes, it should look whitish).
5. Add the milk and stir for a minute.
6. Butter the toast.
7. Put the chipped dried beef and gravy on top of the toast, and eat up!

I like mine with fresh ground pepper on top.

Sh*t on a shingle? I don’t think so!


Related Posts:

, , ,

18 Responses to Creamed Chipped Dried Beef on Toast—A Real PA breakfast!

  1. SOS Lover October 11, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    If you want the “gravy” to come out whiter (and better), you need to heat the flour with the oil (or butter) first.

    In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour all at once to form a roux. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until thickened. Bring to a boil, stir in beef, heat through and serve over toast.

  2. Norma Hair October 11, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    I *love* homemade creamed chipped beef for breakfast! In the Perkasie area, Bolton’s Farm Market will chip it for you. I don’t think they are fully organic, but raise their own antibiotic/hormone-free cattle. You can see them happily grazing the fields by the large pond. It’s nice to know where your food is coming from.

  3. Don October 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    Why put toast in toaster if it’s already toast, You put bread in toaster to toast.
    With your recipe you will have enough for about 6 pieces of toast.
    Try adding a dash of worcestershire sauce.
    It’s better made with butter or bacon fat.

  4. Donna in Delaware October 11, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Good Lord! I haven’t had this since I was a child. I had forgotten all about it. I used to eat it quite a bit as a child on toast and found it very satisfying. It was very tasty then, and I hope that it is still so.

    You know how these recipes get long lost in the reshuffling of recipes for newer, healthier and better ones and those gourmet recipes that everyone think that they should be eating because it is the thing to do. Well, I am very grateful that you bring back the old faithfuls Maria, that most of us don’t give a second thought about anymore. Kind of like homemade banana pudding with vanilla wafers on top or lemon meringue pie. Thanks for the recipe and I thank the other bloggers for their helpful input.

  5. Amanda October 11, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    SOS is soooo comfort food for me! Love it, love it, love it. And the very best dried beef around comes from Pature’s Pride in Kutztown (

  6. Caroline October 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    My husband prefers his SOS over fried potatoes. That combination really sticks to your ribs!

  7. Nikki October 14, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    I’m a 63-year old American who grew up in Iowa and is married to a Swede and living in Sweden. When we visited the U.S. recently, my only requests to my sister and Mom for foods-to-have-available were English muffins and chipped beef! I LOVE chipped beef. Or sh*t-on-a-shingle. Or SOS. Call it what you will, it’s comfort food to me.

  8. J. October 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    When I was a child, we used to have creamed dried beef (as we called it) for Sunday breakfast. Mmmmm.

  9. Sharon November 30, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    Lordy, I was just telling someone that I had eaten this as a child and I would also think yuck! Now that I am sitting here rethinking…perhaps it was just to salty for me. I will try it with some good quality beef and see. Thanks.

  10. Barbara Rosales January 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Unfortunately the only “chipped” beef available to me is Hormel in a glass jar f rom the grocery. I love it creamed on toast but, have never made it myself. Don’t I have to soak the beef first to get some of the salt out?

  11. Mariah July 13, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    What I really want to know is how to make my own chipped beef. I used to have chipped beef on toast as a kid and I loved it. But of course back then it was Hormel (I think) slices of thin beef in a plastic package that was used. Now I buy almost nothing that has a label, and I make do with what I harvest/grow myself or obtain from local growers (organic). If I could make my own chipped beef then I would try this yummy comfort food once again.

  12. Lori Moore November 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    How ironic . . . my son just asked me today if I would make this for him, when he gets home on Monday; then, I read about it on Maria’s website! Mmmmm, gonna be good!!

  13. Ralph Hudnall December 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Great recipe. A dash of Worcestershire, just before serving, is nice, too.

  14. sandra July 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    I have loved creamed chipped beef since childhood.

  15. MaryMcC December 12, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Barbara–my mom used to use the Hormel chipped beef in plastic packets, and she would soak it in tepid water for a bit to remove some of the salt. If the first thing you taste when you try the beef by itself is SALT, soaking works.

  16. Billy Walden December 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    I would like to invite your attention to the use of the term “SOS “was not Chipped Beef on Toast. “SOS”was left over Spaghetti Sauce served on toast the next morning after Spaghetti was served as the evening meal.
    Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast was called “Fore Skins on Toast” and was served as the eveing meal.
    Navy when we could tell the day of the week and the time of day by the meal we were served.

  17. RuthK January 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Billy W., My Air Force ex called it Foreskins on a Life Raft, for breakfast. SOS was creamed ground beef (which I knew as a child as Scotch Collops [sp?], served over mashed potatoes for dinner). Whatever the names, both were very good, and I haven’t had either in years. I need to fix that!
    Mary & Barbara, thanks for the soaking tip. As I recall, the chipped beef was terribly salty, which my blood pressure wouldn’t appreciate. I’ll try that.

  18. Jeanie Schroeder August 6, 2015 at 12:53 am #

    I will try this recipe.
    I can’t have a lot of salt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *