Curried Dried Beef (Wisconsin, 1962, adapted)

My local WinCo has stocked Dried Beef for as long as I can remember, right next to the Spam and right above the corned beef hash.  Somewhere over the years they switched from Armour brand to Hormel brand, but it’s always been a curiosity.  Who buys this stuff?   Why does it exist in the first place?  There are a few serving suggestions on the jar.  The photo on the front shows some sort of pinwheel sandwich, and the top lid has recipes for an ominous-sounding “beef dip” or a modified jalapeno popper.  Neither of these seem like a big draw.

A little bit of internet sleuthing connects the dots – dried beef is the key ingredient in Creamed Chipped Beef, known better by a more colorful nickname.  “S–t on a shingle” or “SOS” is military slang for Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast, a staple of WWII-era American military cuisine.  It’s basically dried beef in a simple white sauce – easy prep, high in protein, and frankly not awful.  Add a couple of fried eggs to your SOS and you’ve got a low-rent Eggs Benedict.

Curried Dried Beef from Our Favorite Recipes is a simple variant on SOS with a little bit of curry powder.  It’s meant to be served over rice but is perfectly serviceable on your choice of shingle.  I’ve amped up the curry powder and added a little bit of heat

Our Favorite Recipes is soon to be republished by the Arcadia (Wisconsin) Historical Society.  Current information will be available at the Historical Society’s website.




Curried Dried Beef (Wisconsin, 1962, adapted)

  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Cooking: 10 min
  • Ready in: 15 min



  1. Slice beef into thin strips. Melt butter over medium high heat and add beef strips. Allow to fry, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add flour and stir until incorporated.
  2. Add milk all at once. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened. Add curry powder and crumbled chili and simmer a few minutes more until flavors are blended.
  3. Serve on an English muffin or toast with fried eggs on the side. Top with freshly ground black pepper.

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