A Journey Through the Sandwiches—Chipped Beef on Toast

Hell; I’d eat that.

Feast your famished eyes on this pile of slop and say “Hail!”, friends, for we have finally on this journey come to encounter, at last, chipped beef on toast.

I hear this is a common military meal, but I don’t know, because I’ve not served. The stories are innumerable, though; one does hear these things. Kathleen Purvis, for instance, posits in her Charlotte Observer column that “most men who came back from military service have stories about being fed creamed beef three times a day, week after week.” Which, okay. That’ll ruin anything for you. But some find its, as she calls it, “gloppy familiarity” to be not a burden, but a boon.

Really, I hear a lot about chipped beef, but the amount of actual stick time I see people having with it remains low. Out in the wild, out in the kitchens. You see my meaning; the civilians are not eating this, I think. None of them I’ve seen except for me, because that’s right, I do eat that. I eat all of these amazing ass sandwiches, friends. I eat them, and I eat them well. They’re the only things that make me happy in the world. Selah.

Chipped beef on toast is a breakfast, lunch, or dinner item, called by some by the name “SOS”, a code word for “Help Me!” and also an acronym for “Shit on a Shingle”. Which, whatever. Clever, but this strikes me as complaining. “Shit”? Chipped beef on toast is good. It’s warm and hearty. It’s a campfire meal, it gets the heat down in your bones, lets you shake off that shivery sleep from last night in a cold pup tent. It’s hearty, it’s creamy, it has crunch and is chewable. You know what isn’t enjoyable to eat in those sorts of environments? Sorghum. Teff. Oatmeal. A delicious salad. Think about the context, friends. Think about cold feet on the kitchen tile on a frigid winter’s morn. Think about that pup tent. This dish has beef, and gravy.

Recipes are myriad and simple and very difficult, in my estimation as a chef of some renown, to screw up. I had one with sausage gravy on wheat toast. It made me feel like a Navy SEAL. The dish is fucking decent. It’s easy to make and I enjoy it. Hell—if our armed forces truly are serving this up for chow at anytime snacktime, then I fully endorse that. Just have an apple on the side, maybe. Shit on a shingle and an apple on the side. With black coffee. Yes… yesssssss

















Photo Credit: Oanabay04 at English Wikipedia