Sos -- "stuff" on a Shingle

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins

After being wounded in Italy in 1944, my grandfather returned home and improvised a dish he was often served in the military. The Army called it "Chipped Beef on Toast". The soldiers called it Something (I can't mention here) On a Shingle, and in classic military tradition, that name was reduced to SOS. My grandfather taught this recipe to my dad, who, in turn, also taught it to my mother and me. My mother, who is offended by the idea of having the first "S" of SOS on her table, calls it Creamed Beef on Toast. All measures are approximate. Because of this, the recipe multiplies well. Heck, you could make enough to feed an army. ;-)

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 34 cup flour
  • 1 medium onion, medium dice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 12 cups milk, any grade you like but the richer the milk, the richer the gravy
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • dry toast


  1. Combine ground beef, onion and garlic on a large skillet or pot, and brown the beef.
  2. Once the beef is browned and your onions clear, add the flour. There are two important things to note here - (1) Do not drain the beef (2) Add enough flour to completely absorb all the liquid in the pan.
  3. Once all fluid is absorbed by the flour and you have a nice roux, add your milk. Again, remember that the measures are approximate. So, you want to add about twice as much milk as flour.
  4. *Do not be afraid of adding too much milk. If you do, you will just have to cook it for longer in the next step, but the flavor will reward you for your efforts.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and slowly cook away the fluid, stirring often, until you have a nice thick milk gravy.
  6. Spoon generous amounts over dry toast (like an open-faced sandwich) and enjoy.
  7. We never have it with a salad or veggies, but they would go well this dish.


Most Helpful

Very GOOD! we followed the recipe, and it was relish, but we like things a little spicy. fried up the onions, garlic and some peppers and then added the meat and gravy ix. Then I added crushed red peppers, cayenne, and parsley. SO SO SO good!

Nikki H. June 29, 2016

While reviewing food that my mom cooked while growing up to my wife. I started talking about SOS This is almost the exact recipe. This was a breakfast staple in our home. so the onions werent there and boiled egg slices were laid on the toast to be covered with the gravy.... I liked more egg on top as well. So after our conversation this morning we are having SOS tonight for our family dinner as our meat over toast and prob mashed potatoes with a green veg....

James J. July 27, 2014

I add hard boiled eggs to mine just to take it up a notch. The yokes make it a bit creamier too. First time making the rue in the same pan as the beef. Hard to use the wisk this way but still delish!

kayaline33 March 19, 2014

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