Not Your Mother’s Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast



This recipe is dedicated to my Mom, who loves that old and often maligned dish Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast.  I would have made her absolute favorite, which is Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie (not the baked kind you’re thinking of with a top crust, but a sort of soup with homemade thick square noodles) but it’s more of a cold weather thing.

Back to Chipped Beef on Toast — you may have also heard it called “Something on a Shingle,” and worse.  And it is often associated with military cuisine, if you can put those two words together in your mind in the same sentence.  I don’t mean to offend, I just don’t often hear “cuisine” or “gourmet” and “military” used together.

My Mom did not grow up in a military family, rather her Dad was a doctor and Mom a nurse, and they lived in small town, semi-rural (at least by my standards!) Eastern Pennsylvania.  They had a summer place where I think they grew a ton of vegetables and other edibles, plus chickens, horses and probably some other animals I don’t remember.  They had access to farm fresh food and that’s primarily what she was raised on.  I don’t know how Creamed Chipped Beef came to the table, but I’ve met lots of ladies and gentlemen her age who say “Oh, I was raised on that stuff.”  It’s basically air dried beef (or could be sausage in some circles) cooked in a white gravy and spooned over toast.  The air dried beef is just not sold out here in California, and so when Mom gets a craving she goes for Stouffers, which even though almost against her religion, she says is a good version.

For this Mother’s Day I’ve created my own take on Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast, using the fine Italian Dried Beef Bresaola, a homemade béchamel, and Artisan, Wild-Yeasted Rye from my favorite bakery.  Make no mistake, it’s not the real thing, but it is truly delicious.  Serve with a little stone fruit or something sweet, as the dish is very salty.

One Comment on “Not Your Mother’s Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

  1. Oh yea! Beautiful pictures and I like your narrative very much. Now this creamed chipped beef over toast is something we had growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio. I think your recipe is wonderful and makes me want to get my hands on a warm creamy chipped beef and gravy dish.

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