It’s so hot…I don’t feel like doing One. Single. Thing. Nothing. Sluggish, tired and no motivation at all whatsoever. I hate that feeling. It makes me feel guilty! But it is what it is.
And that kind of day made me think of this to make! Hearty, but quick and so simple to make that it goes from the pan to the table in less than 30 minutes! Including pics!
My kind of simple, summertime meal! Especially when you just plain don’t feel good, and cooking becomes an unwanted chore.
It’s a comforting meal that “is what it is”, and has been around since 1910 when the U.S. Army first added it to their cookbook! Their original historical recipe prepared “enough for 60 men” and gained huge popularity during WWII in 1935 and somehow earned the nickname by the soldiers, “Shit On a Shingle”. Or, “S. O. S.” for short. The “shingle” being toasted bread, which was then covered with chipped beef in a creamy, white sauce gravy. (*I don’t mean any disrespect by using the “s-word”, but just the opposite in that, I’m calling it, out of respect to the soldiers and to history, what it was, and still is, called.)
Maybe they started calling it that due to the repetition of having to eat it so often? Anything can grow tiresome when having to eat it every day.
I guess we can’t know unless we can ask someone! And though there are newer, more “affectionate” anagrams for the “S. O. S.”, such as “Something On a Shingle”, “Same Old Stuff”, and comically, “Save Our Stomachs”; it will always be known by the nickname that the soldiers gave it while surviving in the fields during WWII.
And for that it deserves historical correctness and respect.
My hubby, a former Navy Seal, fondly remembers this dish served at breakfast-time during his years of serving in the U. S. Navy. So I make it especially for him every now and then, and it’s always a welcome, and heartfelt meal.
I once had extra pastrami and made it from that, and we enjoyed it so much that we both have preferred it this way ever since. Pastrami is spicier than the traditional corned beef used, and has a nice coating of coarse pepper that adds an extra punch of flavor.
I’ve also found that a thick-cut bread, such as “Texas Toast” bread, holds up much better to the rich, creamy béchamel.
Tom loved it, and now doesn’t want it any other way!
Don’t buy that over-priced, pre-toasted, frozen boxed stuff, though. Yuck. They sell loaves of regular, fresh, “Texas Toast” bread that is best toasted yourself right in your regular wide-slot toaster or toaster oven. It toasts just as quickly as a regular slice of bread, so you don’t have to toast it any longer, either.
Nice and golden on the outside, and tender on the inside. Perfect for this dish.
Though I have changed the recipe a bit, I have kept to most of the original ingredients that flavor it, but with just a few extras that take it over the top.
The original U. S. Army recipe calls for beef stock, but I prefer a chicken flavor and add a bit of real chicken bouillon base made by Superior Touch that I love to my homemade, rich béchamel.
All of their bouillons are so much better than those horrid little cubes and granules. It’s pricier, but worth every penny extra, and lasts quite awhile. A must-try folks! But, warning, once you try it, you’ll never go back! But that’s a good thing. 😉
“Fresh is always best”, so use fresh parsley if you have it. If not, don’t worry, I’ve included the amount for dried parsley too, because I’ve used it in a pinch, and it really does work just fine.
And always serve with lots of coarse ground pepper on top! Though, traditionally, this is a breakfast dish, we actually enjoy it for lunch and supper as well. It’s wonderful served with a simple side of buttered sweet baby peas and a dab of homemade mashed or fried potatoes!
So, whether you’re a military family or have relatives that are serving or have served, or just have fond memories of enjoying this as a child, this is a kicked-up dish that you’ll love at first bite and is a rather economical meal to serve to a large family or hungry crowd on a budget, too.
It will soon be a much appreciated dish that will become a family favorite for many years to come! I do hope you enjoy my version that is “Navy Seal approved”, very much made with love, and always welcome at our humble table. I hope it is soon made in your home, too! Have a fantastic day, and try and stay cool in this awful heatwave!
RICH & CREAMY CHIPPED PASTRAMI on TEXAS TOAST (a.k.a. “S. O. S.” made with Pastrami)
3/4 – 1 lb. thinly sliced deli pastrami
1 stick real butter (4 oz.)
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 Tbl. fresh minced parsley, or 1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
2 beaten egg yolks, (tempered with sauce before adding)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 loaf fresh “Texas Toast” bread
lots of coarse ground black pepper
Into a small bowl, cut up, or tear, stacked pastrami slices into small pieces, set aside.
In large frying pan, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Do not brown. If it starts to brown, turn down heat.
Turn down to low, and slowly whisk in milk making sure it’s well blended and no lumps ensuring a creamy gravy. Whisk in parsley, chicken bouillon base, garlic powder and onion powder. Bring heat back up to medium, and stir until low boiling/simmering, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring until thickened, for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add a tsp. of gravy at a time to beaten egg yolks in a small bowl, stirring in to heat them without scrambling them, adding about 2 Tbl. gravy total. Stir egg yolk mixture into gravy. Stir in salt and white pepper. Place back onto heat on low, add pastrami and heat through, stirring. Remove from heat and cover.
Pop bread into toaster and toast. Cut corner-to-corner, place onto plates and ladle gravy over Texas Toast points. Serve with lots of pepper on top.