Vegetables elevate chipped beef on toast

By Jim Bailey
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Growing up under the wings of a Navy man for a father, I enjoyed chipped beef on toast without vegetables. But now as a chef, I realize that even though this old-time Navy breakfast is great as is, the Army had its own rendition that included a variety of vegetables. Peas, carrots and green beans were just three that were added to this dish, but I have a feeling that whatever was leftover in the fridge was added “back in the day.”

This mistakenly named SOS (which is, in reality, ground beef prepared in the same fashion) is inherently salty so the addition of sweet tomato and bell pepper gives it a whole new life and hopefully a new following! Using hearty bread for toast will defray that always soggy toast we had many years ago as well. Want this dish to get an extra kick of sweetness? Grill some cornbread as the vehicle for this generations old breakfast.

chippedbeefontoast copy1 (2.25-ounce) jar dried, sliced beef
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 thick slices of toasted Italian or French bread
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped, optional

Remove beef from jar and chop; set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add tomato and bell pepper and cook until the pepper is crisp tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove green peppers and tomato to a bowl and add flour, whisking with melted butter until a smooth roux is formed. Add the milk, whisking well until no lumps are apparent. Add the bell pepper/tomato mixture and the prepared beef. Stir and heat to scalding. Remove from heat and ladle evenly over toasted bread. Sprinkle with chopped, hard boiled egg if desired.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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