Creamed chipped beef is a popular mid century comfort food consisting of thinly sliced beef in a thick and creamy white sauce, served over toasted white bread.
If you grew up between the 1950's and the 1970's, there's no doubt you've had creamed chipped beef on toast. It's an easy, economical meal that you can serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Creamed chipped beef originated during the depression, and because it was filling and inexpensive to make, it became a popular military meal during WWII. You'd think the soldiers would have tired of it, but its popularity peaked as a family meal in the decades after the war.
Grocery stores have long carried several frozen versions, but it's so quick and easy to make that there's no reason not to make it from scratch. The recipe consists of blending packaged dried beef into a simple creamy white sauce, then serving it over toast.
Ingredients for Creamed Chipped Beef
Following is what you'll need to make this classic comfort food dish:
- Dried beef
What is Dried Beef?
Dried beef is a type of preserved beef that has been cured, seasoned, dried, pressed and thinly sliced. Making dried beef involves marinating slices of beef in a mixture of salt and spices, then slowly drying the meat to remove moisture. The end product, especially from Armour and Hormel, is often too salty, so soaking it in hot water for a few minutes before adding it to the white sauce is highly recommended. You can also use Buddig Beef or Buddig Corned Beef from the packaged lunch meat section of your grocery store, and you don't need to soak it because it's not as salty.
A Few Minutes is all it Takes to Prepare Creamed Chipped Beef
If you have purchased a very salty dried beef, you may want to begin by soaking the beef in hot water to remove some of the salt. I heat water in my tea kettle and pour it over the beef in a bowl and let it sit for 3-5 minutes.
When the beef is done soaking, drain it and then slice it into bite sized pieces. Set it aside until you're ready to add it to the white sauce.
Making White Sauce
White sauce, also called béchamel sauce, is a classic French sauce that is frequently used in cooking. A basic white sauce is made from a roux (a mixture of flour and butter) plus milk, and seasoned with salt & pepper. Depending on the dish, other seasonings can be added, including paprika, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and more.
To make white sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, and then add an equal amount of flour; stir constantly until it forms a paste. Then gradually add milk and whisk until it thickens and becomes smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the sauce is ready, add the beef and heat through. As the beef is heating make your toast, then serve the creamed chipped beef over the toast. Enjoy!
Looking for hearty breakfast ideas? Also try our Kentucky Style Biscuits and Gravy and from-scratch Corned Beef and Hash.
Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast
- 6 oz dried beef (6-8 oz. of dried beef or Buddig Beef works fine)
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon black Pepper freshly ground
- 4 cups milk
- Remove dried beef from packaging. If it is overly salty, soak it in hot water for 3-5 minutes to remove some of the salt. Slice beef into bite sized strips and set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk until fully blended and smooth.
- Whisk in the pepper, then slowly add the milk, whisking constantly.
- Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened, whisking constantly.
- Add the beef to the white sauce, and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes until beef is thoroughly heated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately over white toast or biscuits.
- You can use packaged Buddig Beef or Buddig corned beef in this recipe instead of the dried beef. It's not overly salty so you don't need to soak it, only slice it into strips.
- You can substitute ½ lb of ground beef in place of dried beef. Brown it and add it at the same point you would add the dried beef.
- If you'd rather not use beef, you can use slices of ham.
- To pump up the flavor, add 1 teaspoon of paprika to the recipe at the same time you add the black pepper.
- You can add ½ teaspoon of nutmeg to add a bit of nutty sweetness to the sauce. Add it at the same time that you add the black pepper.