[Sca-cooks] Weird American food?

Lady Celia CeliadesArchier at cox.net
Mon Jul 21 09:08:50 PDT 2008

Adamantius wrote:
<<I don't think I've ever, in my life, laid eyes upon chipped beef. The  
photo in Wikipedia looks like a somewhat more-aggressively-cured  
version of Lebanon Bologna. I had always thought, and been told, both  
by my father and also hearing from such sources as Julia Child (who  
was not without military experience), that S.O.S. was made from  
shredded corned beef. I could picture my late father eating this in  
the Army and simply having no clue as to what he was eating, but Julia  
Child? I'm surprised.

I assume the ground beef is to cut the salt content somewhat?>>

Hmmm... I'm wondering if Julia Child simply came across a version made with
shredded corned beef?  From this article here: 
Sounds like S.O.S. can be *any* creamy gravy w/meat on toast, but that
chipped beef just became the favorite in the army. So presumably any
preserved meat that would travel well could be used and I would guess that
dried chipped beef became the most popular simply because it was most
prolific, or cheapest, or both. 

Thank for mentioning the Wikipedia article. I found the link to the 1910
recipe out of the "Manual for Army Cooks" interesting.  I wouldn't have
thought about their using evaporated milk combined with beef stock for the
liquid, but that makes all the sense in the world, doesn't it? 

And the Wikipedia article mentions that " This recipe left out an important
step---soaking the beef to reduce the salt content."  I noticed that
Phillip's recipe also included that step, whereas my mothers did not.  The
salt contained in the chipped beef was the main seasoning.  Now I know why I
have to salt the frozen stuff to death. ;-) And like the navy recipe for
minced beef listed in the article, instead of doing a roux, I have always
used a cornstarch slurry - but that's the way I make all my gravies, as I
like the taste better and find it easier than dealing with a roux. 

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list