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Andy Garr’s S.O.S-Creamed Beef On Toast

by jughandle


This is Andy Garr’s S.O.S-Creamed Beef On Toast  or Shit On a Shingle which is the unofficial term—abbreviated as “S.O.S.”—which became popular slang among American soldiers during World War II. It refers to “creamed chipped beef on toast,” a dish featured in Army cookbooks for over 100 years.  At the Fat Farm this recipe will always be Andy Garr’s.

S.O.S can refer to any creamed meat served on toast. The slang term for it changed depending on what branch of the service you were in.  In general the soldiers actually did enjoy a meal of creamed meat on toast.  They didn’t hate it as the nickname implies.

The Back Story:

The first appearance of a Shit on a Shingle recipe may be in the 1910 Manual for Army Cooks, which listed it as “stewed, chipped beef.” It features 15 pounds of beef to feed 60 men.


However, cream chipped beef is a breakfast staple in the Northeastern United States since the turn of the 19th century.


The reason for its success in both contexts is the same.  Dried, salted, pressed, and sliced thin, making for a compact and shelf-stable snack, Chipped Beef is an ideal source of protein on long-haul journeys.


In a plight much like that of American soldiers, European immigrants relied on the same economical, transportable, and filling meat.

Over time, cream chipped beef over toast spread throughout the Mid-Atlantic U.S.—particularly in Pennsylvania—where it remains a popular diner breakfast item.


Offered at one point or another all over the country, cream chipped beef appeared on IHOP and Cracker Barrel menus.


Coined during World War II the term, the nickname, S.O.S, extends far beyond the mess halls of the 1940s. In fact, the soldiers’ uncouth name choice remains popular today.


Pennsylvania Dutch recipes insist on “Dutch frizzled beef,” and diners offer “cream chipped beef over toast.” But locals still call it Shit on a Shingle. – From- Gastro Obscura

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Pin Recipe


Here is an official U.S. Army recipe for SOS
Course Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keywords creamed beef on toast, S.O.S
Protein Beef
Cooking Method Pan Fried
Hot/Cold Dish Hot
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Andy Garr

What You Will Need:

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef - Sometimes made with chipped beef
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 tbsp. sifted flour
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 Toast - 2 pieces of toasted white bread.


  • Brown ground beef in its own fat or brown canned dried chip beef in butter
  • Remove excess fat and save for making roux.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

To make a white roux:

  • Place 2 tbsp. reserved fat in double broiler or heavy pan.
  • Slowly add sifted flour, stirring constantly over low heat until blended.
  • Cook for five minutes. Just long enough to take the raw flour taste out. Do not brown.
  • Combine milk and water.
  • Add butter and scald (not burn) in a double broiler or heavy pan.
  • Introduce the roux to the scalded milk mixture, stirring constantly until thoroughly blended.
  • Add meat mixture and cook about 10 minutes, or until desired consistency.
  • Serve on toast.
  • Chipped Beef on Toast looks like this


Notes: I've been told that this recipe is the official U.S. Army recipe for SOS or more widely known as Shit On a Shingle. - jughandle


Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 740 Calories from Fat 414
% Daily Value*
Fat 46g71%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Cholesterol 150mg50%
Sodium 693mg30%
Potassium 754mg22%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 675IU14%
Vitamin C 2.5mg3%
Calcium 381mg38%
Iron 4.6mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

sos prep

Links and Stories:

History of S.O.S. -the meal


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