Creamed beef is another recipe we picked up when my dad was in the Army. Creamed Beef (good old SOS) was introduced post World War I, but it has roots in the Army’s late nineteenth century recipe for chipped beef.
What’s good about this dish is that it’s still tasty and filling with or without some of the ingredients. When I was growing up, we used ground beef, flour, and evaporated milk mixed with water, and sometimes we used whole milk mixed with water. Beef broth was an unnecessary expense. We used Worcestershire sauce if we had it, but if we didn’t it was still a good dish. The ground beef can be substituted for sausage, too.
The original recipe calls for 17 pounds of ground beef, 12 tablespoons of dehydrated onions, 1 pint of bacon fat, 1½ quarts flour, 16 cans of evaporated milk, 2 gallons of beef broth, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, and at least one tablespoon of salt. This all served on 100 slices of toast.
We don’t make nearly that much, and unless you’re feeding an army, you won’t either. I modified the recipe to serve four.
- 1 pound ground chuck
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups evaporated or whole milk
- 1½ cups beef broth or water
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- 8 slices of toast or biscuits
- In a large skillet, add oil, and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the ground beef and brown. When about half the beef is browned, push to the side and add onions. Cover, and let cook until the beef is cooked, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add flour to beef and stir until beef is well-coated. Let cook on medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Add milk, broth, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire. Reduce heat, and let simmer until gravy thickens.
- Serve over toast or biscuits.