FAILED! I Tried to Make a Classic and It Was Horrible!
Creamed Chipped Beef, a.k.a.: S*** On a Shingle
For some reason I got the craving for Creamed Chipped Beef, a United States military classic that is more commonly know as "S*** On a Shingle" to many military veterans. I first became acquainted with it in the diners of New Jersey and through my grandfather, a retired Air Force fighter pilot, who whipped this up for me in my way-back youth. From what I understand, this dish's history reaches all the way back before World War I, appearing in the Manual of Army Cooks from 1910 and it has been prepared through many conflicts and wars as it was easy to prepare in mass quantities. The ingredients at the time traveled well; cured meat and condensed milk didn't spoil easily and could be easily transported long distances. Most importantly, it fed a lot of hungry soldiers and provided much needed nutrition for a fighting force.
S*** On a Shingle is really easy to make! You start by making a roux of butter and flour, and then stir in milk. Seasoning can be added; the most common seems to be nutmeg and a little pepper. I did something a little different by adding pepper, a couple dashes of Worcestershire, and a few dashes of Tabasco sauce. Once your S*** On a Shingle gravy is cooked to the desired consistency, sliced strips of dried beef are stirred in. This concoction is served over toast and is a hearty meal with its filling, thick gravy and salty beef.
Pretty simple gravy. How can this be messed up?
Mmmmmmm. Cured meat product.
The dried beef is sliced into strips and stirred into the white gravy.
So how did I fail at making this easy dish? Holy crap, my S*** On a Shingle was soooooooooo salty!!! It was so salty that I couldn't finish my plate of it, and I like salty foods! I found out later that I needed to quickly soak my dried beef in water to relieve it of some if its sodium. Just ten seconds in some water would have made my plate of S*** On a Shingle much more palatable. Lesson learned!
To me, this actually looks good! I understand if S*** On a Shingle's appearance may be off-putting to some.
Yay! About to dig into this plate of awesomeness!
Boooo! I couldn't finish it. It was way too salty. This was what was left after my wife picked at it a little. What a disappointment!
I will try making this again, and fingers crossed- soaking the meat makes it more palatable. I think I will also chef it up a bit with the addition of sautéed onion and some tomato next time. Fancy S*** On a Shingle, if you will!
Have you every had S*** On a Shingle?