Creamed Chipped Dried Beef (or "S.O.S." as it's sometimes called) was a dish my parents and grandparents were not fond of. It was never served in our home, and I grew assuming it must be horrible. Then I married into a family who talked very fondly of it.
Being a fairly accomplished cook at the time, I decided to make a batch without a recipe. Seemed simple enough - buy dried beef, slice it up, and stir it into a creamy bechamel sauce. WRONG. I made a delicious bechamel and seasoned it to perfection with salt and pepper, then added the dried beef and waited for my family's compliments, but what I failed to realize was the fact that dried beef is very salty on its own so the dish I served to my family ended up being completely inedible. Lesson learned so don't do what I did - follow my recipe below.
Creamed Chipped Dried Beef
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
4.5-ounce jar or package of dried beef, sliced or chopped
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk flour into the melted butter; continue whisking for 1 full minute after mixture begins to bubble. Continue whisking as you add the milk and pepper. The sauce is done when it returns to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in sliced dried beef. Serve immediately over toast, biscuits, English muffins, etc. Gently reheat leftovers with a splash or two of milk to restore creamy consistency.
Note: If you make this in a nonstick skillet, be sure to use a whisk with silicone coated wires. Also, the dried beef can be rinsed and drained before being added to the bechamel sauce to further reduce the sodium content.