SERVES 4 – 6
A recipe for chipped beef for "60 men" first appeared in the 1910 Manual for Army Cooks. In military slang, this dish was commonly referred to as S.O.S.—"bleep" on a shingle, with the shingle referring to the toast.
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1⁄2 lb. paper-thin dried beef slices, shredded
3 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
1⁄8 tsp. freshly milled white pepper
1 tbsp. minced fresh chives
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4–6 slices toast
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the dried beef and sauté until it develops a few crisp edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until it just begins to color.
2. Slowly whisk in the milk and half-and-half, then add the pepper, chives, and nutmeg. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thickened and creamy but still pourable, about 5 minutes longer. Ladle over toast, scatter with parsley and serve immediately.