This vintage chipped beef on toast with peas is frugal but delicious. Sometimes the best recipes are born out of necessity and this one is a really quick and comforting dinner. SOS is on the table in less than 15 minutes!
This classic dinner recipe is still a favorite of my grandma’s. I would imagine if your parents or grandparents were from a certain era, they know about it too.
Some people may have their own little twists they like to put on it, mine is the addition of peas. Though mushrooms would be great too.
It is a great cheap and easy meal that is quick to get on the table. Served up some creamed beef on toast for a tasty blast from the past.
The way I came upon this recipe is still cracking me up. Grandma used to ride along with me every once in a while when I would go on a work trip.
It worked out great for both of us. I got somebody to talk to on some of the many drives around the state.
Then I drop her off at a Barnes and Noble (if it is next to a Michael’s all the better!) and I collect her and her purchases when it is time to go home. She got some fun out of town shopping time at some of her favorite stores and I got a travel companion.
Being left at a store all day might not sound like fun to you, but you should know my grandma. She doesn’t know a stranger and will have a half dozen new friends by the time I get her.
Plus they have coffee, food, and books. What more do you need?!
Usually she is sad that I am ready to go already. I don’t think she has ever once been anxious for me to come get her.
Usually she has a handful of treasures and several great stories. One time a couple of years ago, she had a couple of handcarts piled up and waiting for me to load up when I got there.
No kidding! She had Christmas darn near wrapped up with all the games and books she couldn’t pass up.
It was tradition on these trips to discuss what we were planning to make for dinner on the way home. We both mentally walked through our refrigerators and pantries and decide what we are going to throw together.
One time, she had finally decided on making salmon patties if she had the salmon. I got a phone call later that night saying she did not have the salmon so she ended up making (cover little eyes here!) shit on a shingle.
I thought she was making a joke and told her “oh no! poor grandpa!” It turns out that “SOS” is a real thing and not just her being funny.
Her mom made it for their family when she was growing up. She makes it fairly regularly to this day.
My parents were talking about it this weekend. They thought it was funny I didn’t know what she was talking about, because apparently they made it for me when I was little too. Who knew?
SOS is basically just chipped beef in a cream sauce served over toast (the shingle). It seems to normally be served just like that.
My mom and grandma both put peas in theirs. My dad said when he made it in college he would add a can of mixed vegetables.
I don’t remember eating it growing up, but now I am intrigued. Shit on a shingle it is!
What Meat Do You Use for SOS?
There are several kinds of beef you can use to make chipped beef on toast. They each taste different, but all of them are good.
The most obvious choice is chipped beef. It was a great preserved option during the great war, when this recipe became popular.
My family actually prefers the flavor with beef lunchmeat. The little packages of Buddig beef lunchmeat work great, but anything similar will do.
You can even use ground beef if you would like. Just brown it and season it with salt and pepper.
You can use the grease in the pan to cook the flour, just add the flour and let it cook for a few minutes before adding the milk.
There are so many tasty ways to enjoy the creamed beef on toast, so feel free to be creative. And if you have a favorite way that is different than ours, please let me know in the comments.
More Favorite Recipes From Grandma
Some of those vintage frugal recipes that were born out of need are classic comfort food favorites to this day. Along with SOS, we still enjoy favorites like scalloped corn.
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 small package chipped beef chopped
- ½ cup frozen peas thawed
- 4 slices toast
- salt and pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a skillet. Stir in flour and cook for a minute or two
- Whisk in milk until smooth. Cook over medium low heat until it starts to thicken
- Stir in peas and beef and cook until just warm
- Serve over toast