Appalachia Appalachian Food


I never eat Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast before I married The Deer Hunter back in the day. But from the first time Miss Cindy made it for us-I loved it.

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast is a pretty fancy sounding name, but most folks, including us, call it SOS.

Apparently Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast was served often in the chow line and soliders who had grown tired of the meal came up with the more colorful S*it On A Shingle name and then shortened it to SOS probably so they could say it in mixed company.

So here is how Miss Cindy makes hers.

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast AKA SOS


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • Pepper (Miss Cindy like lots of pepper)
  • 1 large jar dried chipped beef chopped into 1 inch squares

Melt butter, add flour and pepper. Stir while it heats, it will become thick and bubbly.

Add milk, stir and heat, then add enough water to make it gravy consistency.

Add chopped chipped beef, heat through, serve on toast and call me when it’s ready.

Notes: There is no salt in this recipe because the beef is salt cured. If salt is an issue for you, soak the meat a little while in water and drain it well before adding it to the gravy.

This is a very flexible recipe. If you prefer to use half and half for a richer gravy that is fine. If you want to use a 2% milk to cut down on fat, that’s ok too.


The last time Miss Cindy made SOS for us we had Cherokee Purple tomatoes on the side and a big glass of sweet tea and it was so good!

I never make SOS myself its like I never think of it until Miss Cindy is visiting or we’re visiting her. I especially like the glass jars the dried beef comes in.They have stars all along the lip of the glass and make dandy bathroom glasses/toothbrush holders.

Ever had SOS?



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  • Reply
    April 14, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    I grew up in a Navy family. I greatly preferred SOS over the other Navy ‘staples’ like Spam. I always thought it had a brilliant nickname and finally learned there was an actual recipe for it in my 30’s. When people asked me what it was, I’d tell ’em it’s called ‘mine.’

  • Reply
    November 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I make this with the packages of sliced beef for sandwiches (the brand name is Buddig). I just cut stack the slices up and cut into cubes.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve heard of it most of my life, but I’ve never eaten it.
    My Captain’s father used to fix it for the Captain and his brothers when they were growing up.
    Boo has never eaten it either. I have copied Miss Cindy’s recipe and I think I’ll surprise them for supper one evening.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    October 15, 2012 at 2:07 am

    I learned to make chipped beef on toast when I first married, but my husband, like all the military men called it SOS, and never cared for it. I still make it once in a while.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    My granny used to make this for us and taught me how when I was about 9. The white cream sauce is very versatile. I use as the base for macaroni and cheese, among other things, but my kids’ favorite use of a cream sauce is for leftover turkey served over waffles. (Dessert was always a waffle with maple syrup.) The kids call it “Turkey Glop.” One time our son Stephen invited a friend to stay for dinner. The friend wanted to know what we were having and Stephen told him “Turkey Glop.” Seth stayed for dinner and liked the dish, but later he told Stephen he couldn’t get past the name.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Has been one of my favorite recipes for as long as I can remember. I grew up eating it and loved it. It’s hard to find the chipped beef around here…people don’t know what to do with it. No one at work knew what it was one day when I was talking about it.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Tipper, this post reminded me of this recipe–used to do it in Dutch oven workshops. May have to start using it again! Could always leave out potatoes and serve it over biscuits.
    Paddlers Stew (Serves 2)
    2 slices bacon
    3 T flour
    4 C water
    1 sliced onion
    1 C shredded dried beef (soak in water and then drain to remove excess salt)
    3 sliced potatoes
    Cut bacon in 1-inch pieces, and fry until most of grease is extracted. Remove bacon, and put flour in the fat. Blend in smooth; then add water slowly. Stir and cook until flour thickens; then add dried beef, potatoes, and onions; cover skillet/Dutch oven and cook 20 minutes. Thin with a little hot water if too thick.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    OH Garland Davis you have made my weekend!!!!!!! Both my son’s and my adopted son ( a co-worker that just stole my heart and fits in my family just wonderfully) Anyway, they will enjoy this for Sunday Morning breakfast, I’ll make the white SOS and now the red!!! YUUUUUMMMM Love the Navy Chief Cooks!!! PS.. my husband was a Chief also, Electronic Warfare passed away in 2008.

  • Reply
    Jacob, The Carpetbagger
    October 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Ha! My son claimed to love this dish, but I think he just liked saying the name 🙂

  • Reply
    October 12, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Ed-The Deer Hunter and Papaw made venison jerky back in the day-maybe I can get them to give it a try again this year.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    October 12, 2012 at 3:16 am

    I had never eaten it, nor heard of it, before I went in the Marine Corps. Then they served it EVERY morning. (That’s where the “Same..” part of the name comes from.)Their version was mass produced and not very appetizing so I never developed a taste for it. I’d be willing to bet this version is a whole lot better.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    October 11, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    I think Dale Anderson is correct, my father who is no longer with us served in the US Army Air Corps in the South Pacific during WWII and refused to eat SOS or any other Mutton dish, he explained that the only meat they had was Mutton from Australia and almost everyone grew to hate it. My Father-in-Law who is also deceased was a POW during Korea and forbade his wife to serve Rice since all he had to eat for almost two years was rice which was usually soured.

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    October 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I was a very picky eater in elementary school and took my lunch every day. But breakfast was a different story. I ate each morning at Martins Creek. Frankie Chastain and the ladies would make this creamed chipped beef on toast and I loved it! I’ve never tasted any that could match it. I might try this recipe and will let you know if I do.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    For some reason I always thought stew beef that had been browned was used to make this dish. Your way sounds best.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Tipper-Do you and the Deer Hunter make venison jerky? I wonder how your SOS would be, made with it? Or even some sun dried possum for that matter?

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Uhmmmm gooood! This was a favorite in my house growing up and I cooked it often for my family. I like the jars too, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    October 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I have made SOS in the past, but like Stephen, I don’t eat it now because of the high sodium content.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Love SOS!

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    October 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Oh yes this is good Tipper.. My hubby made it in the Army and and showed me how.. Mama made it too.. It is very good with tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Tipper, I’ve had sos on toast but I bet it would also be good on some of those wonderful biscuits you make!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Ain’t never heard of this, but I
    bet its good. I make bologny gravy
    and wienny gravy from a receipe
    similar to this, only with biscuits. With a good tomato, I
    love burnt bologny and egg as a

  • Reply
    Dale Anderson
    October 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    We had SOS frequently in the Mess during WWII, but it never was comparable to that made by my Mother who never called it by that name. In the miltary it was a ground meat, usually mutton. I understand it was one of Australia’s contribution to the war effort. I liked Mother’s version much better and on biscuits.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Mama, Army Nurse Corps, made this often but always used ground beef instead of dried. As a newly-wed I found a Good Housekeeping recipe for the dried beef version. I made it from time to time, but haven’t fixed any in awhile. My grands love it. I also have a recipe for a cheese ball using dried beef and pumpkin of all things. Sounds gross, but is very nice and a great fall recipe.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    October 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

    To Marianne:
    I Lb Ground Beef
    1 Mediun Onion Chopped
    2 Cn Chopped Tomatoes
    Salt & Pepper to Taste
    2 Tbs Flour
    1/2 Cup water
    1/4 Tsp Mace
    Brown Groeund beef and onions. Drain grease. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Thicken w/ slurry of flour and water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the mace. Mace is the secret to this Recipe.
    An old Chief Cook.

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    October 11, 2012 at 10:06 am

    My Momma used to make this when we were growing up. I’ve not thought about it or made it in years though. Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    October 11, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I dare say that most of the folks who were military or married someone that was once in the military knows of SOS…My husband said he got very tired of it while in the Air Force back in the 60’s…especially while in Korea. I told him that probably saved his life, from having to eat Kimshee, Birds Nest Soup and Thousand Year Old Buried Eggs. However, (I found an Easter egg once that smelled like it had been hid a thousand years.)
    Sorry, I got distracted, by the smell I guess..anyhow…..
    I used to make SOS using ground chuck, cut up some onions, drain the fat before cooking the onions in the beef. Sprinkle some flour on top of the heated beef and onions, stir in the skim milk and stir until thick…Serve it over toast with a side salad…
    My husband said he shore liked my version bettern’ the Air Force version…Season with S/P and any other non-salt seasons like non-salt seasonall if desired…I have pepped it up with chili flakes (like the ones that come with pizza) just for a kick!…
    We have been using skim milk for years…Seems like the only difference is when I make cornbread and I miss buttermilk in my corn bread…
    I hope my husband don’t read this, he will want a memory boost of SOS tonight…
    Thanks Tipper, one more thing, if the dried beef dip that is heated with pecans, creamed cheese is like the one I aquired years ago, it is to die for. As Delores Barton, your commentor suggested!..So very good..she should give you the recipe for the holidays, which is coming quicker than we know….

  • Reply
    Bob in Young Harris
    October 11, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Can’t beat the dried (chipped) beef we get at the local market in Gap, PA when visiting my sister-in-law up there. Always bring a supply home with us.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Mom made chipped beef and gravy many times. It must have been cheaper than any other store bought meat. She never used butter to make it as our butter was always fresh churned and didn’t melt well for cooking. Beef was never served in any other form at our house when I was a child. Cows were more beneficial for providing milk and butter. Gravy was always served with biscuits. We got a loaf of light bread occasionally, but never fixed toast with it. One would have a hard time making toast in a coal burning cookstove.

  • Reply
    Ron Perry
    October 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I have eaten this all of my early life, just haven’t had any recently. When I was in the Marine Corps, they made it at least once each week. Even when we were deployed aboard Navy ships, they served it there. One thing aboard Navy ships in the 50s was Saturday morning breakfast. It was generally baked beans and oranges…I guess it was sort of a tradition.

  • Reply
    Donna Godfrey
    October 11, 2012 at 9:21 am

    We had this often as I grew up in Lancaster County. Winter weather and this on toast was a treat!
    Now I do soak it but have added 2 things…I saute finely chopped onion and finely chopped jalapeno and than add the chopped and soaked dried beef.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

    This is pretty common here in Lancaster County, except that we call it “dried beef gravy”. We also make sausage gravy over biscuits, or sometimes even scrambled egg gravy. It makes a heart breakfast!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I was just telling Casper about this just a couple of weeks ago. We ate so much of it when I was small. It was cheap. I priced the jar of chipped beef the other day and it’s not that cheap anymore. It was good seeing you’all at the festival.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    October 11, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Can’t say my mom ever made this, but a friend made some with cream cheese to serve as an appetizer with crackers. It was a hit at a holiday party I held.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I never think about it either, but I love it. Just tell Miss Cindy we will be coming for dinner too. 🙂 love.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I haven’t had SOS since I guess the 70’s.. Now I have to make this!!! Thank you.. brings back lots of good memories of the Navy life! I wonder if anyone has a recipe for the red SOS, I remember it was made with ground beef, hmmm will have to research that!

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    October 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I always loved the SOS when I was in Basic Training and still do just haven’t made it for several years, but I have a jar of beef setting here so may make it shortly. When I was in basic most of the guys had never had this but Mom fixed it very often in several different versions so I was kind of raised on it for one thing it was cheap to make because we had all the ingredients all the time in the kitchen and in the meat house.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 8:26 am

    i might have to add a jar of chipped beef to my list for sat. we were raised on this, had it at least once a week or even more.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 11, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Tipper-Have you ever thought of publishing a diet version of your blog for those poor souls who cannot eat real food? Personally I believe that eating foods that make you happy and content have an enhancing effect on your health that overrides the detrimental effects of salt, sugar, fat and etc. They just need to make sure they don’t get too happy or too content.
    When I got off the no salt, no sugar, low fat diet I weighed 240 lbs and wore 40″ waist pants and XX large shirts. Now I wear 32’s, medium shirts and I weigh 158.5 and have a BMI of 22.7
    I say, eat what you want to, just don’t eat it every time you want it.

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    October 11, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Love it. Haven’t had it since elementary school, but remember exactly how it tastes. YUM! You’ve done made me hungry. My grandmother made it also. It was even better over her biscuits.

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Oh this has been a staple in our house for many years, Love it on a cold (cool) fall or winter morning. It’s fast to make and yummy to eat!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    October 11, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I’ve never had it before, but it looks pretty good. I think it would be good with fried apples and biscuits. I make creamed turkey/chicken like this with left overs. I’ve also been known to make creamed bologna! Cut bologna up in medium size pieces, brown them in the skillet and make a gravy mixture somewhat like your recipe and add the bologna to it. It’s really good and something to have when you don’t have any other meat on hand. I haven’t made it for a while, but my family always liked it.

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    October 11, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I don’t think we ever ate it. My dad was in the army years and years ago, so he used to tell us that’s what we were having if we bugged my mom too much about what was for dinner. My mom then picked up the term when we were after her about what was for dinner. I’m not sure I ever have tasted chipped beef, but I’d sure like to have some jars with stars on them!!!

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    October 11, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I do remember this. We had it a lot when I was growing up.

  • Reply
    Ima Cook
    October 11, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Sure I’ve had it. And with variations like cut up pieces of bologna or ham or crumbled bacon. And over split biscuits.
    SOS $2.50
    une tranche de pain grillé avec le bechamel au boeuf salé $32.50

  • Reply
    Ethelene Jones
    October 11, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I haven’t made this dish before–in fact, had not thought about it. But I just may get a jar of the beef and try something new to me. I’d have to soak to get some of the salt out first, though, as I’m limited on salt. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 11, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Yes, we ate it quite a bit when we were first married and on a tight budget. Now not so much. Did you know they used to make frozen dinner of this dish?

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    October 11, 2012 at 4:26 am

    When I was younger I had SOS many times and loved it. I don’t eat it that often because of the salt content in the beef but thanks for the heads up on how to take care of that problem. The only problem I have now is waiting for the grocery store to open so I can get the beef. Thanks

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