This SOS Meal Has Saved Me 100 Times!

Traditionally, we always ate this creamy beef gravy over toast. That’s what made it so easy. I never really liked it that way though. I discovered that for my personal taste, I prefer it over potatoes. I can do it with instant mashed, homemade mashed, or even just by throwing a potato in the microwave to “bake” it. Eating it that way is the only way I really enjoy this meal. My husband likes his over rice. It just depends on what you like. You can try them each way and find out for yourself the method that tastes the best to you! Check out what they are saying about this recipe over at Nutmeg Nanny:

“This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together.”

Stop staring at the contents of your refrigerator and throw this creamed beef together for dinner tonight!

 

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef

1 small yellow onion, diced

Kosher salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

5 tablespoons Land O’ Lakes unsalted butter

6 tablespoons Gold Medal flour

2 cups whole milk

Bread, toasted

 

 

Instructions

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.

 

 

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Quick Tip: Dice in some green peppers and mushrooms.

Thanks again to Nutmeg Nanny for this life-saving recipe.

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104 comments

My husband called it Sh___on a Shingle too – but each time I would make the SOS for lunch or dinner, my kids would say they smelled it miles down the road and always showed up to finish it off. So guess it wasn’t so bad – still it is tasty.

In the military SOS was made with ground beef (army). In the Navy we called it FOT (forgive me but ‘foreskins on toast’) that was made with sliced dried beef.

I always knew it by a vastly different first “S” moniker that the GI’s assigned to it. Made with dried chipped beef or jerky, ground beef, sausage, or any other chunky meat available, or even a combo of left overs. I always added a dash or two of Worstershire or sometimes TOBASCO Louisiana Hot Sauce, is good served over any fairly bland base including pasta and biscuits. It wasn’t just a Mess Hall staple, but also a depression era stand by that many of us grew up with.

You are right, it comes from what was served to our armed forces and they used dried beef, which unfortunately isn’t readily available anymore. My dad, a WWII vet used to make it for us. You can chipped/dried beef via Amazon if you want and it lasts forever. I buy it once a year or so.

It is, we spent summers at my grandparents cottage and Leo slop was a regular 2 days/WK .it was served over potatoes. Add peas and put over noodles and voilà “hamburger helper”. They way people act is like they come from families that missed the Great depression. That’s part of our history,guess it’s almost 90ys ago so they delete most of it to be able to highlight the technical advances of video games. Like music in their parents generation, this generation can list every video game made

Instead of gravy, add your fav spaget sauce and serve over noodles…. WOW , you just made spaghetti with meat sauce…oh the possibilities of ground beef. Why do you think a pound of ground beef sells for the same as most roasts and cheaper cuts of steak??

I love to make this using ground sausage ( like Owen’s) and putting it over biscuits. It is fast, cheap and can feed a crowd quickly. Sometimes after getting off of work, I fix this with either hamburger or sausage. Then I can relax and put my feet up for the evening. Yummy!

Yes, we usd to put it over biscuits, too. Sometimes with hamburger, sometimes with dried beef. I had forgotten all about this.

Exactly, biscuits and gravy with sausage. The other SOS is dried beef over toast and my dad was army and he cooked it in the army. And for his army of kids he and my Mom had. 11 kids so this food went a long way. We still make it and love it!

I tend to do it the way you do. I add the flour to the beef and little butter and then let it brown a little then whisk in hot milk. Browning the flour and beef and butter first makes the gravy much tastier in my opinion.

My mom raised 10 kids. SOS was a weekly staple. Ground beef browned with onion. Flour or cornstarch adding water instead of milk, salt and pepper over white rice. Try it you will love it. Leave the milk for sausage gravy over biscuits.

My mom raised 9. Grew up eatting this and still make it. With flour and cornstarch over mashed potatoes. Ummmm

I learned to make this from my husband’s cousin using ground beef, served over rice n mashed potatoes. I remember eating this in elementary school.

I grew up eating something similar, but we just opened a can of condensed cream of mushroom, cut the water by half and added it to the cooked meat. Sometimes with frozen peas/corn/carrots. We called it ‘Slop’…. Not a very glamorous name. I love it on rice!

We used to have slop too… I’ve never met anybody who called it that lol although our family’s recipe for it differs from ur slightly, just a tad tho

We used cream of mushroom soup, too, and ate it with rice or mashed potatoes. It looks unappetizing, so when my sister started cooking, she added green food coloring!!! Didn’t help. Green meat just looks nasty!

Dice a green pepper instead, and put it in with the meat after it’s been browned and the fat drained. While the meat is cooking, (on medium heat. Remember: high heat hardens protein) boil water and cook a package of medium egg noodles, drain and add to the hamburger mixture. This has been one of the meals I grew up on. It was many in a category of “Depression dishes”: makes a lot, but doesn’t cost very much. It was enough for a family of five, with second helpings. You didn’t walk away from the table hungry!

I like it on egg noodles sometimes but I dislike green peppers. I’ll give your version a try but will use Red peppers since they are sweeter and less bitter than green peppers.

We did the same…we just call it Hamburger Gravy over Rice. We use condensed mushroom soup (1 can), milk (1 can), and 4-5 beef bouillon cubes. Never add thickener to ours. Still my favorite meal.
As for S.O.S (Stuff on a Shingle), I used Dried Chip Beef sauteed in butter til lightly crisped. Pour milk over to cover it, heat to light rolling boil. Then mix corn starch & milk into a slurry (in a mason jar) and stir into the heated beef/milk until desired thickness of gravy achieved. Then spoon over buttered toast. YUMMY!!
My mom has made a different version, called T.O.T. (Tuna on Toast). Also made with cream of mushroom soup & canned peas mixture…then spooned over buttered toast. Delicious!

I make something similar except I don’t make milk gravy. I used Cream of Mushroom soup and add milk. It’s very good served on hamburger buns ala Sloppy Joe style.

My mum made this as well on the farm. She made it weekly and we loved it. Served it always over mashed potatoes. Thanks for recipes. Completely forgot about ut😊

My Mom made this a lot while i was growing up, but we just called it hamburg gravy, although some people I knew also called it slop! As I got older and things such as packaged onion soup and then beefy onion soup became available, we would brown our meat with a package of the dry soup mix, then cover the meat with water, make a flour paste or corn starch in a jar with some water and after the beef and soup came back to a boil, we whisked the flour mixture into beef and water to make a gravy. We served ours with mashed potatoes. I still make it sometimes and I’m an old lady of 65! My mom also used to make cukes and sliced onion , salt and pepper, and a mixture of equal parts vinegar, water and sugar to soak the cukes …better if left to set at least an hour!…:)

My mom did something like this but instead of making the gravy from scratch, she would cut a can of mushroom soup with half a can of water and soya sauce and mix it all in the same pan with the cooked meat. Simmer for 10 minutes and laddle over mashed potatoes. Our form of fast comfort food.

I used to make something similar to this, but rather than using 2 cups of milk, I used Campbell’s Mushroom soup and diluted same with milk starting with a minimal amt and adding according to the consistency. Perhaps somewhat richer than this recipe.

I made this for my children and they called it dog food because “gravy train” dog food came on the market at that time and you added water to the pellets and it made its own gravy. That was not their favorite dinner yet one of them makes it now for her kids — and liked it!!

Our family version doesn’t include flour, milk or butter. We use mushroom soup. It is served over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

My mom made this a lot when I was little. I loved it. Don’t remember how she made it but we always drizzled a little vinegar over it.

See? I do not understand people calling it that at all? Perhaps they do not know they are saying something ugly?

We know what it means 🙂 The author of the recipe’s mother called it this and so did her grandfather. It’s a family tradition 🙂 Enjoy!

I have been making this since 1975. I just brown the hamburger meat, don’t drain, add salt & pepper and flour. Cook a bit, Then add whole milk or canned milk and water and cook till right consistency. Adjust seasonings. Serve over toast and with sliced tomatoes. My family always loved it. Still do!

Love it that way too……even without meat using flour and milk with whatever for the “fat/drippings”. Personally love it with bacon grease or even just butter. Good old milk gravy, but love it with most all the ingredients mentioned by others. Wonderful old recipe!

a spoon of instant coffee will darken the gravy – just use water instead of milk for those allergic to it

I love hamburger gravy over rice, bread or boiled potatoes! Grandma raised a bunch of grandkids, foster kids, ranch hands. We all ate it and loved it. My spoiled husband won’t touch it.

I have been making this all of my life (73 years old). Learned it from my mom and grandma. It is wonderful over boiled potatoes served with diced onions and dill pickle spears!

I learned this from my Dad and grandpa (both career military men). We steam the hamburger meat with Italian seasoning so it tastes like sausage. Drain the fat. Stir in white sauce, heat and eat! And ALWAYS served with dill pickles! Will have to try it over potatoes and throw some diced onions on like you do/

I make el cheapo SOS using the thin sliced beef(think buddig) chopped into pieces…Then fry in some butter(or oil) til crispy then finish the gravy

I make this with buddig quite often. If you want to stretch and recipe a little, try adding some chopped up hard boiled egg and definitely some powdered mustard. Comfort Food!

my dad made S.O.S on sunday mornings for breakfast we would put it over pancakes made from scratch with bacon or sausage and eggs….. best breakfasts ever !!!

My dad was in the Marines, he fixed this all the time, called it SOS. He browned the hamburger meat and onion. Added some flour, then milk. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. He added soy sauce for color and flavor. He’d serve it on toast with a fried egg and fried diced potatoes. One of my favorite meals.

What does SOS stand for. We call this dish, (which comes from my traditional Mexican family) “Carne Picada”) and the sides we had with it were always, refried beans, fideo, which is “Vermecelli, and don’t forget my mother’s great homemade tortillas. Don’t forget the best, to make it complete, homemade spicy chili. You use the serano peppers, tomatoes and a dash of garlic. Brown the serano peppers and tomatoes on an iron skillet. Peel the tomatoes and mash them in what we call the molcajete. You’re ready to eat. Yummy. On what you call SOS, (carne picada) to give it a great flavor, we use cumin and garlic.

I use a little different version, brown the hamburger, add 1 can of Cream of Chicken, 2 can of water, put that over potatoes or rice, we call it comfort food!

I grew up with Budding, but Armour is a current alternative. It comes rolled in dry slices in a jar with a metal lid.

We always used Armour when I was very young but Hormel has also been making it for a long time. A lot of metro grocery stores don’t carry either but I’ve gotten it through Amazon.

This was a staple for us growing up, except using a can of tuna instead of ground beef. I make it for my Kids now and they love it! It is a very fast easy meal to get on tne table. You can also substitute hard boiled eggs. I lke to throw in some frozen peas too!

My grandmother and my mother made it with canned roastbeef and homemade gravy and placed over our bisquits. Roastbeef gravy is what we called it.it was delicious. My mom made it for us and i make it for my kids and hrandkids and they love it.

I grew up on this hamburger gravy mixture, but our recipe differed a bit and we just call it Hamburger Gravy over Rice. We use condensed mushroom soup (1 can), milk (1 can), and 4-5 beef bouillon cubes. Never add thickener to ours. Still my favorite meal.
We have different variations to the recipe, like:
As for S.O.S (Stuff on a Shingle), I used Dried Chip Beef sauteed in butter til lightly crisped. Pour milk over to cover it, heat to light rolling boil. Then mix corn starch & milk into a slurry (in a mason jar) and stir into the heated beef/milk until desired thickness of gravy achieved. Then spoon over buttered toast. YUMMY!!
Then there is a totally different version we’ve used, called T.O.T. (Tuna on Toast). Also made with cream of mushroom soup & canned peas mixture (just like the mixture for tuna noodle casserole)…then spooned over buttered toast. Delicious!

Also very good over egg noodles. Add a little sour cream and powdered mustard and it’s just like beef stroganoff. Or try adding a little red wine to the gravy. It’s such a simple recipe and you can change it up with just a few additions.

Let me set you straight, SOS is creamed dried or chipped beef over toast, not ground beef.
Hamburger gravy I use lean ground beef, one pound, 2 diced onions, brown, add one beef bouillon and plenty of water let simmer. Season with pepper and add a few shakes of gravy master then thicken with a flour mixture. Serve over mashed potatoes. A great anytime meal. In place of water and bouillon you can use a large pkg., of beef broth saving a little to mix with flour to thicken. So simple and delicious.

Loved it when I was a kid, loved it in the Army, and I still eat the stuff.
.Put it on toast or biscuits, mashed potatoes, eice or hash browns it’s all good. Sometimes we will use a can of cream of mushroom soup with it also. I remember coming home from Vietnam the day we left country we got a big breakfest and when i went thru the line the mess sgt asked if i wanted sos and i told ya just put it on everything, he smiled and did it.

Mom made this, called it soupy ground beef. We served it over fresh mashed potatoes. Mom darkened the sauce with ‘Gravy Master’, made it look better. The SOS I like is creamed chipped beef on toast. Mom made it pretty regular, and added peas to the sauce, giving us a veggie with the meal, LOL!

We had this fairly often when I was growing up. Mom would use dried beef (aka “chipped” beef) sometimes. The dried beef version was my favorite. Unlike the author, I don’t like this on anything other than toast or sometimes buttermilk biscuits when I have the energy to make them.

That is SOS alright. I lived on various forms of it when I was a kid. I just showed the pic to my son and he said ” Oh wow, you haven’t made that in a long time ,that was good” LOL. I upgraded it when I made it, darker gravy , mushrooms, and usually served over rice . If I served it over egg noodles , I told the kids it was beef strogonoff !

Eaten over toast in US Civil War, was pork n beans over toast, dried beef was used in WWII, unlike hamburger or Buddig, dried beef requires no refrigeration. My father would not eat rice after WWII, he couldn’t look at white rice without horror (if it moves, it isn’t rice). Depression era food, dried beef and gravy, very salty dish and greasy by todays standards. Can eliminate some salt by soaking the dried beef to remove some salt before hand. Sausage gravy and biscuits is a great staple, adding beef boillion to sausage gravy greatly enhances flavor and color. Great memories.

I like both the hamburger version and the dried beef too. A good way to serve the hamburger version is over sweet potatoes or yams, for the dried beef version I lightly butter toast pile on some scrambled eggs and smother with SOS.

I came from a family of 3 kids and have 6 kids of my own. My mother made it, but I make it better! I like it served on egg noodles. I call it slop!

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