My dad was an MP in the Air Force, and one of the carry-overs he brought to his civilian life after leaving the military was a craving for creamed chipped beef, or as he referred to it, s#&t on a shingle. Whenever my family went to a diner for breakfast, my dad always ordered creamed chipped beef. And as soon as the server placed his plate on the table in front of him, he’d hold up a fork full creamy toast and try to coax me into having a taste. Creamed chipped beef didn’t appeal to me at all, so I always declined his offer. The S.O.S. nickname aptly described the dish made with a gloopy white sauce chock full pink meat bits and slathered over toasted white bread. How could he possibly want me to eat something that had poop in the name?
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I decided to give creamed chipped beef a try. At the time I was really missing him. He’d died when I was twelve. One day after school, I stopped by his favorite diner and ordered the cream chipped beef. Overcome with nostalgia, I dug right in, then I dug right back out. It was so nasty that I had to order a cheeseburger just to get the taste out of my mouth. After that day, I had no desire to ever eat creamed chipped beef again. I just found other ways to honor my dad’s memory, like being a Pittsburgh Steelers and Bruce Lee fan.
This past Veterans Day I was scheduled to appear on Good Day Charlotte, and I wanted to prepare a dish that honored our vets. Of course the first dish that came to mind was creamed chipped beef. I couldn’t let Veterans Day go by without doing a cooking demo of the military’s signature dish. However, I was not about to make some pasty white sauce with pink meat bits in it. Instead I went bistro-style with some fresh ingredients incorporated in my creamed chipped beef. Thinly sliced New York strip elevated the recipe, while fresh thyme and crimini mushrooms added depth to the sauce. This meal was everything I had always wanted creamed chipped beef to be, and it was inspired by the love I have for my dad and his service to this county.
Let me know when you make this recipe. Take a picture and hashtag it #QUEENCITYKITCHEN. I can’t wait to see what you post!
Creamed Chipped Beef
Makes 4 servings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 (8-ounce) thin-cut New York strip steaks
Coarse-ground black pepper
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1¼ cup beef broth
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
4 slices thick-cut country white bread
Heat 2 tablespoons butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and sear on both sides until medium rare, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and allow the meat to rest while you make the gravy.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and thyme and cook until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and darkened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable, stirring to coat. Cook one additional minute. Stir in the beef broth and half and half until combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice the steak and add to the sauce. Stir in the parsley.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange the bread on a foil-lined baking sheet and toast until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Place the toast on plates and spoon the sauce on top. Garnish with parsley and serve.