Shit On The Shingles, Or More Commonly Known As SOS

Growing up we were not allowed to swear so when we asked for SOS for supper, my mom knew what we meant. Shit in a shingle of course. With 6 kids and a tight budget, SOS was a budget-friendly meal. Hamburger gravy on bread, a simple but tasty meal. My mom always called it shit on the shingles. She would brown hamburger with chopped onions and then make gravy with the hamburger grease and serve it on slices of toast.

Several years ago I came across a recipe for SOS on social media but it was creamed chipped beef over toast. I was totally confused. I discovered later that creamed chipped beef over toast was the popular version. It just goes to show you that different strokes for different folks. I have only known the version made with ground beef and didn’t know any better.

History of SOS

It was a staple in the military and was served either for breakfast or supper. For breakfast, a fried egg found its way on top of the meat and gravy. Of course, they used the chipped beef version.

Ground Beef Vs Chipped Beef

I prefer the ground beef version. I have tried the Chipped beef not knowing it was called shit on the shingles but it is just too salty for my taste. Of course, the meal itself does not look very appetizing but it is so good. Comfort food at its best. The saying is you eat with your eyes. If this was always true then not many would eat it. It actually looks like its name. Shit on a shingle. Of course, the shingle is the toast. But looks are deceiving in this case because this is actually a very tasty meal.

My Version of SOS

  • 1 pound ground beef. I used ground chuck 80/20. If ground beef is excessively greasy, drain the grease off and reserve 2-3 tablespoons and add that back to the meat.
  • 2-3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk

Brown the ground beef with 1/2 large onion, chopped. Continue to stir to break up the meat and cook until no longer pink. Salt and pepper to taste. Make sure to use enough salt or the finished product will taste bland. When meat is browned add the flour and stir well. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Slowly add the milk and stir constantly until gravy thickens. Serve over toast. Also, add more salt and pepper to taste if you like. It will taste pretty bland if not enough salt is added.

I lied, But Not on Purpose 🙂

I have to confess. The recipe above for SOS is not mine, it is my mom’s. But I make it just the way she use to. My dad was a cook in the flight kitchen for Continental Airlines and before that worked in restaurants as a cook, but he didn’t do much cooking at home. He always said he was tired of cooking all day and left the cooking up to my mom at home. He did occasionally fix biscuits and sausage gravy for supper tho. So I actually learned a lot of my cooking ways, so to speak from my mom.

Comfort Food

SOS is comfort food no matter which way you look at it. When cooking for a large family on a budget, this was a cheap meal. But it doesn’t taste cheap. This meal brings comforting memories of my childhood. We may not have had a lot of material things in the early years but I never felt like I was cheated. My mom always had a nice meal at the end of the day.

Have you ever had this meal?

Please leave a comment below. As always I love hearing from you.

Have a Wonderful and Tasty day!





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