Sunday, February 01, 2015

Saturday Dinner

     We'd gone to Goose the Market before the furnace acted up, see?  And picked up small amounts of delightful deli-type meat: Black Forest Ham, sopressata, waygu bresaola....  It made for delicious snacks, but sliced transparently thin, even a little is a lot.

     Time had passed.  When you have thinly-sliced, salt-preseved meat in the fridge, it needs to to be wrapped up tightly and even then, it wants to dry out.  Last night, I found that we needed to finish off the bresaola, which is lovely Italian-style dried beef....

     ...Dried beef....  I realized there was only one way to proceed: SOS.  Creamed chipped beef on toast!

     I'm told Uncle Sam has been ruining this stuff for over a hundred years.  I don't know -- all I ever had was the kind Mom made (excellent!) and the version you find in the freezer case (not bad, in fact).

     White gravy is a kitchen staple, just fat, flour and milk.  You probably have the fixings right now.  I was low on butter, so I ended up about half that and half olive oil; added flour to make roux, cooked carefully over medium-low heat so the gravy stayed light (roux can go from white to very dark, depending on what you're after).  Once it looked bubbly-cooked and smelled toasty, I whisked in milk (and a little bit of dried shallot), got it barely to a boil, and backed off the heat, whisking madly all the while.  Then I alternated between snipping in the beef and stirring until it was all in.  After eight minutes or so, the gravy thickened up nicely, it smelled heavenly, and when poured over toast, it was ambrosia.  A bit salty -- the beef might've benefited from a quick rinse -- but it was better than any CCBOT or "SOS" I've ever had.  Tam licked her plate clean.

     (If you're wondering, a little over 2 tablespoons of the fat, about 2 tablespoons of flour and a cup and a half of milk.  Shallots, no more than a quarter of a medium onion's worth.  Each serving got a quick grind of mixed peppercorns and I added dried chives to mine.  You could make this with thin-sliced ham, too, or use it for sausage gravy; in the latter case, use the sausage grease for the fat, adding more butter or oil if needed.)

16 comments:

BatChainPuller said...

We eat your version of SoS often. It is tasty, filling comfort food and easy (quick) to prepare with ingredients you already own. I have also used Costco eye of round to make both bresaola and traditional dried beef. It's easier than you might think and economical, too.

Merle Morrison said...

To me S**t on a shingle is not, nor ever will be, a treat!!!!

Merle

Roberta X said...

And there we have the entire story of creamed chipped beef on toast in two comments!

:)

scottW said...

Was not that bad - after basic sort of found a liking for it-- sure beat the hell out of the military's idea of tuna casserole

Tam said...

This stuff was to what most people think of SOS as this is to this.

BatChainPuller said...

The biggest mistake some people make is not cooking the "flour" taste out of the roux. That's why some cream gravies taste like wallpaper paste. Master this simple technique and you are going to be famous for your chicken fried steak and sausage and biscuits.

azmountaintroll said...

Military grade SoS is made from hamburger in large vats. It has the advantage of being greasy enough to soften the biscuits, and makes a passable condiment for eggs and potatoes.

I'm also privy to the ugly secret of how Army coffee is made, but don't ask unless you're SURE you want to know.

Roberta X said...

Not even, though as I recall, there's a bit of salt in it.

NAVIGATOR said...

AS A VARIANT FROM SPAM AND POWDERED EGGS IT IS A WELCOME CHANGE FROM THE HISTORIC MILSPEC DIET

WHICH WAS PREPARED WITH AT BEST HALF HEARTED SKILL SERVED WITH THE SAME PASSION FOR THE ART OF THE CUISINE (PLOP INTO A STEEL TRAY OR MESS-KIT) OVERCOOKED COLD AND TOTALLY DEVOID OF FLAVOR (SMALL BOTTLES OF TABASCO DISCREETLY EMPLOYED HERE AS WELL A POST MEAL CALCIUM CARBONATE MINT)

THIS IS AN OFTEN OVERLOOKED CHAPTER IN THE SAGA OF FEEDING MILLIONS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE REAL FASCISTS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

OFTEN LOOKED BACK UPON AFTER MANY YEARS WITH TEARFUL NOSTALGIA BY THE FORMER PARTICIPANTS
IM SURE THAT YOUR VERSION OF "SOS A LA MASION ROSEHOLME " BEARS NO POSSIBLE RELATIONSHIP TO THE ICONIC MILSPEC VARIETY

BONE APPITTITTO !














9

harp1034 said...

As a former Army cook I just want to say that the G.I.s like to complain. The food and everything else. Cooking for 600 men is not the same as mama's home cooking where you get what you want.
Try eating C-rats for a few weeks then you will like the cooked Army chow.

RandyGC said...

Actually, the SOS at the Osan AB O-Club wasn't a bad way to come off of third shift...

And nothing defines the C-Rat experience like being in a cold (no fire) patrol camp on a raining cold Sunday morning after being up all night running ambushes and opening up a can of scrambled eggs and ham...

Roberta X said...

Ummmm, YUM! If you're hungry enough.

Stretch said...

Mom made great chip-beef. Served it over Thomas' English Muffins.
When Mom was in for surgery Dad tried his hand at making it. I was slowly forcing a second mouthful down when he asked "Does that taste alright to you."
*SPIT*
"What did you do?" I asked?
Seems using Corned Beef imparts a VERY different flavor to the recipe.

Robin said...

Don't get me started on grandma's white trash cooking .... Just don't.

Anonymous said...

Never have Had SOS military or otherwise. But a good home cooked white gravy made from the bacon or sausage leavings in the skillet was a staple of my breakfast for my first 19 years of life. Poured over fresh baked homemade biscuits there is nothing better. That was one of just a few things I made my mom teach me to cook cause I just never got it quite right.

markm said...

When I was in the Air Force, SOS was one thing the cooks always got right. As for C-rats, there were worse things (especially if you weren't eating them every day):

1) I was once on a clean-up detail at the Melrose bombing range. That's two hours of bumpy back roads from Cannon AFB. So for lunch, the sensible thing would have been to break out some stockpiled C-rats that would have otherwise been going out of date. But no, they had to get us a "hot meal" from the mess hall - cooked on base and held in steam trays for that two hour trip. Do you know what that does to vegetables? Nothing ever better deserved to be called "mess".

2) MRE's, or at least the first generation. We agreed that the initials must be for "Meals Ready to Eject".