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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve on an English muffin or toast with fried eggs on the side. Top with freshly ground black pepper.