SOS Creamed Beef Recipe

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. Growing up, my dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day! Plus it’s ready in under 30 minutes! 

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. Growing up, my dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day! Plus it's ready in under 30 minutes!

{Pictures re-shot in March 2017}

SOS stands for “shit on a shingle” and growing up I loved when my dad made this for dinner. I mostly loved it because I could say “shit” and not get in too much trouble. Traditionally SOS is made with chipped beef, which is a dried, smoked and salted meat product, although my family always made it with ground beef.  Either way, it’s tasty but I find the ground beef to be a bit more filling and a lot less salty.

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. Growing up, my dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day! Plus it's ready in under 30 minutes!

Visually it’s not the most colorful or beautiful dish but it’s filling and comforting. Sometimes that cancels the old rule “you eat with your eyes first.” Plus it’s like the dinner version of sausage gravy and biscuits which you know means it’s going to be amazingly delicious!

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. Growing up, my dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day! Plus it's ready in under 30 minutes!

I like to make mine and serve it over toast but I hear serving it over potatoes is also a great way to scarf down this deliciousness. If you’re not familiar with this dish you should know it’s straight up comfort food. It was super cheap to make and worked perfectly when there was a big family to feed. This is America’s version of peasant food.

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. Growing up, my dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day! Plus it's ready in under 30 minutes!

If you like to keep thing simple you can just season this SOS creamed beef recipe with salt and pepper but sometimes it’s fun to add other spices like garlic, crushed red pepper flakes or even fresh herbs. Personally, I like mine with a little sprinkling of crushed red pepper because I’m pretty much always craving heat!

{Looking for more ground beef recipes? Try my Southwest Taco Stuffed Spaghetti SquashBeef Puttanesca PizzaSlow Cooker Parmesan Meat SauceSmothered Burritos or my Chipotle Stuffed Zucchini Boats}

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SOS Creamed Beef Recipe

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. My dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Bread, toasted

Directions:

Set a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and onion to the skillet. Season lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. Break up the meat as it cooks and cook until it's brown in color and no pink remains. Drain the meat and set aside.

In the same pan as you used to brown the meat, set it over medium heat and add the butter. Melt the butter and sprinkle in the flour and whisk together until it forms a paste. Let it bubble slightly and cook for about a minute.

Slowly stream in milk and whisk until thick. This might take a few minutes to get the gravy as thick as you like.

Add cooked beef and onion to the white gravy mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add more flavor by sprinkling in crushed red pepper, garlic powder or fresh herbs.

Serve over toast.

Note: If the gravy gets too thick you can thin it out with more milk. Also, do not skimp on adding the kosher salt and black pepper after cooking. If you don't add enough seasoning the gravy will taste very bland.

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. Growing up, my dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day! Plus it's ready in under 30 minutes!

Original pictures with the post:

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. Growing up, my dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day! Plus it's ready in under 30 minutes!

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. Growing up, my dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day! Plus it's ready in under 30 minutes!

42 Responses to “SOS Creamed Beef Recipe”

  1. #
    1
    5 Star Foodie — September 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    This looks so comforting, creamy, and delicious!

  2. #
    2
    Veronica — September 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    It looks just like sausage gravy that you pour over biscuits, and in fact the recipe is really similar. Cool, a way to have it for dinner!

  3. #
    3
    megan — September 22, 2010 at 5:59 am

    This sounds like the perfect comfort food! I love those meals that take you back to your childhood 🙂

  4. #
    4
    Blond Duck — September 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I’ve heard about this and always wanted to try it!

  5. #
    5
    Framed — September 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    wow, I’ve always wondered about the recipe for this – I love meals like this. Comfort food!!!

  6. #
    6
    Reeni — September 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    This looks like a hearty and warming meal – perfect for a cool fall night! We used to always joke about cafeteria food being SOS – I never knew it was a real dish until recently.

  7. #
    7
    girlichef — September 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I love shit on a shingle, though I do prefer it with the chipped beef…I’m addicted to that stuff!!

  8. #
    8
    megan — September 23, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I can imagine this is killer stuff! I can see my daughter wanting this all the time. Gotta try it!

  9. #
    9
    Dana - Food for Thought — September 24, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Such a funny name for a food LOL… This sounds like one of those recipes that’s been passed down for generations!

  10. #
    10
    Cakelaw — September 25, 2010 at 1:15 am

    LOL – never heard of SOS before, but it’s a cute name for this dish.

  11. #
    11
    Beth — September 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I grew up on S.O.S. and my kids love it. For those that don’t like it, I simply tell them it’s a version of biscuits and gravy.

    Plan B

  12. #
    12
    Blond Duck — September 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Ok, I need to know what this tastes like. I’m so curious.

  13. #
    13
    grace — October 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

    i LOVE chipped beef gravy, and this is very close to that. i don’t necessarily care for the alternate name, but it won’t stop me from eating it!

  14. #
    14
    Vin Pouliot — November 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    This is an old GI standard it was always on the menu in the mess hall for midnight chow as well as breakfast. Plop a couple of eggs on top and a big pat of butter and your good for the next twelve hours !

  15. #
    15
    Nancy — February 16, 2013 at 3:45 am

    My mom would make this for breakfast and my brothers and I loved it and still do! After she passed away, I’ve continued her tradition. Instead of toast, we serve the beef mixture over french toast. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    Thanks for sharing this!

  16. #
    16
    Joy — November 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    I make this all the time. It’s one of my kids favorite dinners. Although I use cream of mushroom soup, onion, hamburger, milk and pepper. Num!

  17. #
    17
    Trisha — April 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I grew up on this. Best gravy there is. You can add a little soy sauce to it and that taste great also. We had it with what mom calls homemade cat head biscuits. Love Love Love !!!!!!!

  18. #
    18
    Grace Rodriguez — May 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    My Dad made this when we were young…..We all loved SOS, which is what they called it in the Army when he was a cook.

  19. #
    19
    Missy — August 4, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    My momma made this when I was growing up but we just called it hamburger gravy and mom would make bisquik biscuits to pour it over!

  20. #
    20
    Debbie — October 22, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    My great Aunt made this but after making the hamburger gravy she added biscuits on top and baked til brown I make it to this day.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 22nd, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

      I love the idea of adding biscuits to the top!

  21. #
    21
    Jackie — November 19, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Sounds great, but at my age (81), and bad eye sight, I cheat a little by using Safeways’ Alfrado sauce. Pretty much the same result, but not as time consuming to make.

  22. #
    22
    Debbie — November 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I haven’t made SOS in a long time. My dad would always call it by its full name though! LOL (Sh*t on a Shingle) Thanks for bring back a good memory. I’m getting out the hamburger now to make some, but I will put ours on biscuits instead of toast.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — November 19th, 2014 @ 11:21 pm

      Hi Debbie! Thank you for sharing your memory. My dad always called it by the full name too 🙂

  23. #
    23
    Barbarainnc — December 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    My dad was in the Marines, and made this all the time. One of my favorite meals, he would add some soy sauce for flavor and color. Even better when served with a side dish of fried diced potatoes and a fried egg. 🙂 🙂

  24. #
    24
    jerry — December 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Was a messhall cook in the Army in the early 80s.
    I cooked for 300 soldiers everyday.
    SOS was always the first thing we ran out of [ for breakfast].
    — We always added a little nutmeg to spice it up a bit.

  25. #
    25
    Monica — January 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    My mom was a single mom and couldn’t afford to buy us fancy food. We had this a lot when I was a kid…probably at least once a week! When she got married, she married a man that made good money and we never ate it again! Lol…. Ahhh….the memories!

  26. #
    26
    Rewa — April 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    No need to make a roux…just sift the flour over the ground meat and give it a stir to coat the meat well then add the milk and stir it till it thickens…comes out smooth every time!

  27. #
    27
    Dennis — May 13, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    sounds great…using ground pork sausage instead of ground beef would make it pretty much the gravy for biscuits and gravy!

  28. #
    28
    Alice — May 31, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    This is a very old dish. It was handed down on my mother’s side for well over 70 years as it was a way to use the ground meat they had left when a steer was dressed out. In my family we served it over boiled potatoes, baked potatoes that have been scooped out, or boiled rice, plus a vegetable. I often make enough of the meat and gravy that I can have it the next day. I love the way it makes me feel on a cold winter day, nice and warm inside and definitely satisfied. Thanks for sharing this with others.

  29. #
    29
    Sheila — June 3, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I use Cream of Mushroom Soup or Brown Gravy Mix, and eat it over fries.
    Yummy

  30. #
    30
    Jacqueline Berger — June 6, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Oh wow, my Mom made this all the time when we were kids growing up, and on a budget after my Dad was killed at such a young age. 🙁 Oh how I loved this. My only problem now is getting my guys to eat it. Hubby was Military, now retired and not a fan when they served this to him. But I am making it anyway and hoping for the best. Wish me luck!! 🙂
    Best dish ever!! Thanks so much, brings back so many wonderful memories.

  31. #
    31
    Bob — December 2, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I am 83 years young and grew up eating this I also had this while serving in the Navy and eat it every Saturday morning for breakfast.

  32. #
    32
    Rosie — December 2, 2015 at 10:37 am

    This is not the real SOS which is what the Navy served (WWII). The real recipe calls for chipped beef which is fried in butter then flour is added. Then one can evaporated milk and one can water. Salt and pepper to taste.

  33. #
    33
    Bernd — April 12, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    This was the best meal they served to my team of young german police officers at midnight-chow in Patton Barracks, Heidelberg, FRG. Lived in Patton Barracks 1970/71 after USAREUR HQ was bombed twice by Red Army Faction terrorist group and had to protect civilian housing Patrick Henry Village, Mark Twain Village, 130th Station Hospital and several barracks… The best food, topped with 2 sunny-side up eggs for a long shift covering all these areas in summer and winter. The main cook, MSG Jack Hendricks treated us youngsters to plenty of good GI-foods. Miss those days…

    • nutmegnanny replied: — April 13th, 2016 @ 9:17 pm

      Hi Bernd! Thank you for sharing your memories. I know that SOS has always been a huge hit in my house growing up 🙂

  34. #
    34
    Tonia Fischer — October 28, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    This is the real SOS I had in Air Force basic training in 1978. Yum.

  35. #
    35
    DeeDee — January 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    SOS (and French Toast) were the only 2 things my Dad could ever ‘cook’ when I was growing up, he would make this for us all the time, I loved it then and got a hunger for it now (some 50+ yrs later LOL I am making it for my supper as we speak <3 .. Ground beef style, the only way we ever had it…

  36. #
    36
    Sherri — March 7, 2017 at 8:12 am

    We call it hamburger gravy and I make it just like sausage gravy but with ground beef. It’s awesome on toast, biscuits or over fried potatoes!

  37. #
    37
    Melody Kraft — March 14, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I also grew up on SOS, with ground beef. My Mom made it in a huge cast iron skillet that she could barely pick up. We always had it for late breakfast. Really great eating!

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