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Poor Days Supper - Creamed Chipped Beef On Toast Recipe

Updated on January 12, 2016
Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis loves to share recipes from her 'Down Home Recipes Box', which has recipes handed down from three or more generations ago.

Creamed Chipped Beef On Toast ~

An old classic and easy to prepare: creamed chipped beef on toast.
An old classic and easy to prepare: creamed chipped beef on toast. | Source

Chipped beef ~

Coiled Chipped Beef In Jar
Coiled Chipped Beef In Jar | Source

Family Favorites ~

Those poor days suppers have brought forth some of my family's favorite recipes, like creamed chipped beef on toast, biscuits and gravy, and creamed tuna on toast Actually, when I was a kid my siblings and I thought these meals were real treats - we love them so much.

There are still "poor days" for us and many other families in today's economy damaging times. Preparing simple yet nourishing and flavorful meals does not have to be expensive. A package of frozen mixed vegetables is inexpensive and nutritious. They taste fresher than canned vegetables.

Okay - I know that picture of the plate of creamed chipped beef does not look that enticing, so, just try to imagine a lovely and colorful tossed salad sitting next to it. You might want to put a pretty candle and flower arrangement on the table to create a soft romantic mood. Well ... hey! I am trying to create some ambiance for this simple and inexpensive meal.

I apologize in advance to all active or retired military personnel -- please forgive me for presenting this recipe as a meal. Some of you may really like it, yet others may be so tired of it they do not even want to hear about it. Please, hear me out and just hang in there for a few minutes and you may decide to go ahead and give this meal one more chance.

For those who may not know what I am talking about with the military personnel, I will explain. You see, this meal is so inexpensive and easy to prepare that it is served often to soldiers in the field when on training missions. Out there in the wilds, the military commonly refer to this simple meal as "S.O.S", or, "Sh*t On a Shingle". However, just like that canned molded chunk of mystery meat with the gelatin, some things are embedded in our memories as something we are supposed to hate - when actually, we sometimes crave it just for "old times sake", for it brings back some cozy feelings of huddling together to keep warm while eating out in the fields. In other words, it does taste good if you are hungry.

Every time I do my grocery shopping I pick up several inexpensive items that will keep in the pantry for a long time. One of these items is chipped beef in a glass jar. It does not look real appetizing nor does it look like much, but combined with a white sauce that is seasoned and served on toast with a salad and maybe a light, easy dessert like jello or a fresh fruit and cheese tray, it turns into a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Chipped beef is not "chipped" as one might think, it is just thinly sliced or pressed and salted dried beef. It is not high in flavor unless it is smoked. It comes coiled in glass jars, or left in flat slices in plastic packages.

Did I mention nourishing and flavorful? Well, the nourishment comes from what you serve with the creamed chipped beef and the flavor comes from how you season the cream sauce. So, without further ado, let us get started on this yummy meal.

A cheese tray with fruits and olives is good with any light meal ~

Cheese platter.
Cheese platter. | Source

Creamed Chipped Beef ~

For two servings, you will need:

1 eight oz. jar dried beef - chop or tear beef into small pieces

2 green onions, chopped

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons flour (all purpose)

1 1/2 cups milk (warm)

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1/8 cup jalapeno peppers, chopped (canned) - (optional)

4 slices toast

Parsley flakes or chopped chives

Do not add salt. The beef is already salted.

Melt butter in a medium size saucepan over low heat. Using a whisk briskly stir in flour. Keep whisking till a roux if formed. Add milk a little at a time, whisking constantly. Increase heat to medium, whisking constantly till sauce thickens. Bring to a boil, still stirring, and add beef, onions, cayenne, and peppers. Heat till hot throughout and serve over toast. Garnish with parsley or chives.

One 12 oz. can tuna fish can be substituted for the beef. Leave out the onions, peppers, and cayenne and just adding a little black pepper.

A tossed green salad and/or a fruit and cheese tray is an excellent addition to this meal.

A good red wine can enhance your meal ~

Red wine goes well with beef.
Red wine goes well with beef. | Source

Merlot ~

Merlot goes well with this meal. It is a mild wine with a supple, fruity flavor

If, like me, you do not drink any kind of alcohol, have a glass of cranberry-grape juice with your meal. The sweet-tart taste of the juice really perks up the taste buds. Also, this is added nutrition for your meal. Both cranberry and grape juice are very good for the body and soul.

Serving the cranberry-grape juice in pretty wine glasses will add to that romantic mood you are trying to create on a low budget. Seriously! I mean even cream chipped beef can be a romantic meal if one is in the right mood -- and drinks enough juice.

Enjoy your meal.

~ ~ ~ ~

How to make a white sauce ~

Note from author ~

Thank you for reading my article. Your opinions are important to me and let me know your interests. This helps me to offer more of your favorite subjects to read about. Your time and interest are very much appreciated. I hope to hear from you in the comments section below.

I write on several different subjects, all evergreen articles. You can read more about me and see more articles I wrote by clicking on my name by the small picture of me at the top right of this page.

Blessings and may you always walk in peace and harmony, softly upon Mother Earth.

Phyllis Doyle Burns - Lantern Carrier, Spiritual Mentor
~ ~ ~ ~

© 2012 Phyllis Doyle Burns


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    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Ahhh hahaha, poetryman, you are funny. We used to call it SOS, too. It is not at all appealing in appearance, but with black pepper and garlic powder it is edible and really not bad at all. Yes, a good French wine would do it.

      Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing your thoughts.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Mary. Thanks for the vote and share. I don't know if I could eat this meal if I called it what your husband does. One of my brothers said in the army they called it SOS - sh*t on a shingle.

      It really is a tasty treat in my family. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      5 years ago

      You gave me a bit of chuckle with the notion of a wine pairing. "Oh Sommelier, which wine goes best with SOS!" Saying that in French would be awesome, though perhaps deadly. I hear French waiters have no sense of humor.

      I was in the military and I found SOS to be surprisingly edible.

      Pardon me whilst I dig a whole and fill it back in for no discernible reason. After that I have to hurry up and wait for something to go tango uniform on the smoke test.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      5 years ago from Florida

      My family has always enjoyed this dish. My hubby would ask for it by his favorite name: Dog Vomit On Toast!!

      I grew up very poor, and I remember my mama serving "poor man's oyster stew". We couldn't afford the oysters, so she just served seasoned warm milk along with oyster crackers! We would just use our imaginations.

      Oh, I still make this dish and still enjoy it!

      Voted UP, and shared.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      7 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Pat, thanks for the visit and commenting. I agree, this truly is a comfort food that brings back warm memories. I love it with a nice fresh garden salad.

      Have a wonderful day. Blessings and Peace to you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      7 years ago from North Central Florida

      This brings back a favorite memory from my childhood. It was a true comfort food...filled the tummy and the soul

      This recipe sounds very interesting so i will need to give it a try. Am bookmarking to add to my cooking files...sending Angels your way this evening ps

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      7 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thank you, Peggy. It does bring back memories for a lot of people. As for the wine, that was just a suggestion to add a little class to the meal. Personally, I would prefer iced tea or ice water, because the chipped beef can be rather salty.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Phyllis,

      I remember eating that meal and liked it. Doubt that I would pair a wine with it but each is own with regard to accompaniments. It has been quite some time since I have eaten this. This really takes me back to my childhood days. I have not thought about this in years. Thanks for the memories. :))

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      7 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Kaili. Thank you for stopping by and for the comments. Oh my gosh! I forgot about the creamed peas on toast. Mom used to fix that, too, once in awhile. We enjoyed it so much, mainly because Dad had peas in his huge vegetable garden. Us kids would pick and shell the peas and Mom would cook and cream them. It was so good.

      Thank you, for bringing back that memory for me.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      7 years ago from Canada

      This brought back wonderful memories of meals my Mom used to make us. One of our "poor meals" was creamed peas on toast. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      You are most welcome, pstraubie. Thanks for the visit and comment. Enjoy your chipped beef on toast!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      8 years ago from North Central Florida

      Phyllis...Thank you for sharing this. My Momma used to fix this on some Saturday evenings. It is yummy. I have not had any for probably 40 years. I will definitely use your recipe.

      Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Amber. Thanks for stopping by. Putting the potatoes into the recipe sounds good. It would also add a little more inexpensive food to help fill hungry tummies. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I also boil some potatoes, making sure they aren't to done otherwise they turn into much, cut into small bite size chunks and put in my sauce wiht meet and all. Thickens it a little bit and adds a different texture.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi James. I do not have the Merlot with it. A good cup of coffee goes quite well with the meal. Thanks for the visit and comment. :)

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      I am not too sure about the Merlot—but I love chipped beef with gravy. Thank you for this interesting recipe. I think I'll try it. :)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi moonlake. Thanks for the visit, comment and votes, it is much appreciated. I love to fix hamburger this way. My kids and I always love it, so do my grandchildren. Creamed tuna is another favorite.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi BuyaBiz. Thanks for the visit, comment and votes. We never had wine at our home when we were kids, but there was always fresh milk and juices. Goat's milk from our own Nanny goat was a real treat for us kids.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Stephanie. Thanks for the visit and the comment. My Mom was always prepared for inexpensive meals -- with seven kids she had to be frugal. Sunday was always our best meal of the week and we all looked forward to it. All our vegetables came from Dad's garden, so they were fresh and very nutritious. Dinner rolls always came from Mom's recipe from scratch and were awesome! Sunday suppers were usually a roast (beef or pork), mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, salad, dinner rolls, and a scrumptious dessert. Awww, for the good ol' days!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Ardie. Thanks for the visit and comment. I can remember eating SOS when just a kid. I think my Dad showed Mom how to fix it. I really do like it.

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      We still call it Sh-t On a Shingle but in place of chipped beef we use hamburger. My husband loves it one of his favorite meals. I love tuna on toast. All cheap meals to make. Enjoyed reading your hub. Voted uP.

    • BizVT34 profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Chipped beef and Merlot, I guess it's not a poverty dish anymore. I too grew up "dis-advantaged" and when my mother made chipped beef it was a special occasion. Thanks for the good memory. Voted Up and shared.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      8 years ago from USA

      When I was growing up, there were several "poor" meals that we had regularly. Chipped beef on toast was one of them, though it was always served with a vegetable or salad for some color. Another thing we had now and then was creamed tuna with peas on toast - and this was because the kids in the house all loved it. It certainly doesn't hurt our budgets to have a few inexpensive and easy items in the cupboard for days when energy and funds are low. Nice hub! I like that you added a wine recommendation for this simple meal.

    • Ardie profile image


      8 years ago from Neverland

      You sure know how to dress up an old, inexpensive meal! Next time I need help making something "special" for the husband for dinner this is the way Im going...candle, wine and fancy dinnerware :) I was never military so I love SOS! I wonder who my mom stole the recipe from years and years ago - she wasnt military either!! hahah

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hello MM, thanks for stopping by and for your vote. I really appreciate that. I love corned beef and sometimes buy one to cook just for sandwiches or to add to soups. It has such a wonderful flavor.

      Have a great day.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Phyllis, I also like to keep something in the pantry for a cheap meal, I use corned beef but have never had 'dried' beef, I will look in the supermarket to see if they stock it.

      It sounds nice and tasty, thank you and voted up.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi, Nell. I like salami and cheese on toast for a sandwich, it is really good. The dried beef is really good when it is creamed and served on toast, I have not tried it on a sandwich. Thanks for the visit and comment. It is always so good to hear from you. Cheers.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, looking at the beef it looks to me like the stuff I buy in a packet, just thin strips of beef or turkey, sounds really nice! what I tend to do for a quick snack is do cheese on toast and then put on the beef or ham, yummy! lol! I will have to try this, cheers nell


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