Shit on a Shingle Recipe

Everything and Beyond Shit on a Shingle Recipe

For those who do not have any idea what Shit on a Shingle is, it’s a dish prepared from thinly sliced beef jerky. Also referred to as S.O.S., this beef recipe is closely linked to the army just like how you would connect highly shined boots, pressed uniforms, and parades to said institution—but through the perspective of an insider. So, if you grew up in a military family, the chances that this recipe will bring poignant memories of your childhood is high.

The trend with food nowadays is that it should be pleasing to the eyes, that’s why plenty of recipes have optional garnishes that add more color and texture to the dish, aside from the added taste of the garnish. SOS, on the other hand, is not aesthetically pleasing to the eyes but it does make up for taste. The taste is a combination of savory, dried, smoked, salty, and satisfyingly beefy. In fact, it is assured that even the pickiest eater in the family will fall in love with this. And you, as the family cook, will definitely add this to your roster of favorite recipes because not only is it gustatorily good it is pocket-friendly as well.

As its name implies, Shit on a Shingle shows the love-hate relationship of the soldiers to this dish. Although it tastes good, served day in and day out, it gets boring pretty fast. Through the years, people have made spin-offs to the name SOS like Same Old Stuff and Save our Stomachs.

Appearing first in the Manual of Army Cooks in 1910, SOS was made with milk and beef stock. It is thickened with roux and seasoned with pepper and parsley. Just before serving, beef was added to maintain the smoky and salty taste of the beef. Through the years of cooking SOS, it has evolved into something else with a variety of ingredients used.

Traditional SOS

The wonderful thing about SOS is that you do not need to have advanced skills in the kitchen to whip it up. Beginners are highly welcome to try this recipe which is quite simple, straightforward, and very affordable to boot. Just follow the steps carefully and then enjoy your creation!

Number of Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

You may also like: Boiled Chicken Recipe


ground beef

  • 1-pound ground beef/chipped beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • Toasted bread

Directions for Cooking:

1) Place and heat a 12-inch skillet on medium fire for a minute.

2) Add the beef and onions. Season with pepper and salt to taste.

3) Sauté for 10 minutes until beef is browned.

4) Lower fire to low and with a slotted spoon transfer beef and onions to a plate. Leaving as much of the oil behind.

5) Increase fire to medium.

6) Add butter and let it melt completely. Do not burn butter or else this will affect the taste.

7) Once butter is melted, stir in flour and mix to make a paste. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is bubbly while stirring constantly.

8) Slowly stir in milk while whisking constantly to incorporate fully. Cook until thickened. If needed, add more or less of the milk until desired sauce consistency is achieved.

9) Stir back in the beef and onions. Adjust seasoning to taste.

10) Serve and enjoy over toasted bread.

Traditional SOS


  • Spices: You can easily give this traditional SOS recipe a twist by adding your favorite spices. Add it during step 2 when you start seasoning the beef with pepper and salt, that’s the time you add additional spices that you like. And then you can also add more spices on Step 9 as you adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  • Additional Ingredients: Aside from spices, you can also add to the ingredients. A good addition is mushrooms. Cook it along with the beef and onions. Some households make use of cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup. So, what you do is instead of using flour and milk—scrap these ingredients and substitute with creamy soups. Just add water or milk to desired consistency.

The Updated Version of SOS

SOS Makeovers!

Now that we have given you the traditional Shit on a shingle recipe and a few of its military roots, its time to move forward. It’s time to leave the staple ingredients used during the Great Depression, world war 1 and 2.

A comelier name to SOS is Creamed Beef on Toast—which is the more refined way of addressing this recipe without having to say that 4-letter word. Even though that these SOS makeovers are quite modern versions, it still retains the fond memory of bygone era.

Number of Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Toast Ingredients:

  • 1 small loaf French bread, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp onion powder

Sauce Ingredients:

The Updated Version of SOS

  • 1/2-pound ground beef
  • 1/2-pound ground pork
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3.5-oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-oz button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Cooking:

1) Make the toast by preheating oven to 375oF.

2) Evenly spread French bread slices on baking sheet.

3) In a small bowl, whisk well olive oil, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix well.

4) With a pastry brush, brush half of the olive oil mixture all over tops of each bread slice.

5) Pop in the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Remove pan and flip bread slices. Brush with remaining half of olive oil mixture and return to oven to brown the other side.

6) Once done, remove from oven and set aside.

7) Begin making the sauce by placing a large nonstick pan on medium-high fire.

8) Add ground beef and ground pork. Sauté for 10 minutes or until meat is browned.

9) Transfer cooked meat to a colander and drain fat completely.

10) With a paper towel, wipe off fat from the same pan and return to fire. Add olive oil and heat for a minute.

11) Stir in onion and cook for 4 minutes or until lightly translucent and soft.

12) Stir in garlic and sauté for a minute.

13) Add shiitake mushrooms, sauté for a minute.

14) Stir in cremini and cook for 5 minutes until soft and brown.

15) Season with pepper and salt. Stir in cooked meat and mix well.

16) Evenly sprinkle flour on top of meat mixture and sauté for 2 minutes.

17) Stir in Worcestershire sauce, sour cream, and milk. Mix well while bringing to a slight simmer. Do not over boil or else milk will curdle and separate.

18) Turn off the fire and adjust seasoning to taste.

19) Serve and enjoy with toasted French bread. Serving size is around a tablespoon of sauce mixture to one bread slice.


  • A sprinkle of grated Pecorino-Romano cheese would have added an extra measure of deliciousness to the dish.
  • Adding chopped fresh parsley just before serving will add extra freshness to the dish.

Beef Jerky SOS

Beef Jerky SOS

Another version of the classic SOS recipe is making use of beef jerky. It may be hard to find this main beef ingredient, but you can buy one in a jar at any grocery store. It’s a Hormel brand beef jerky but before using it make sure to rinse the beef thoroughly in water to remove the excessive saltiness of the jarred beef jerky.

Servings per Recipe: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 4.5-oz dried beef
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 slices bread

Directions for Cooking:

1) Wash beef jerky in water and drain well. If needed, pat dry with paper towels.

2) Cut dried beef into smaller pieces, around ½-inch pieces.

3) Place a large nonstick pan on medium fire and melt butter.

4) Once butter is melted, sauté beef until brown, around 3 minutes.

5) Stir in flour. Cook for two minutes while stirring continuously.

6) Add 1 ¾ cups of milk. Mix well and bring to a simmer while stirring frequently.

7) Season with pepper and salt. Mix well.

8) Add remaining milk slowly until desired consistency is reached.

9) Evenly divide sauce into 6 servings.

10) Serve with a side of bread and enjoy.


  • Be careful when it comes to buying beef jerky because there are beef jerky being sold that are sweet. And sweetness is not a feature of Cream Beef on Toast recipes.
  • There are also a wide variety of beef jerky flavors being sold, you can choose one that tantalizes your palate to add an extra flavor to your usual SOS recipe.

Other SOS Recipes

Here’s a quick list of other Shit on a Shingle Recipes that may pique your fancy:

  • Ground Beef Gravy – a close enough version of SOS, although to some purists it will never pass as one.
  • S.O.S. (Creamed Beef on Toast) – another variety of the SOS recipe brought to you by Mr. Breakfast. It makes use of dry milk.
  • Chipped Beef on Toast – an author acclaimed original SOS recipe straight from the Mess Hall of the 50th Infantry, at very minute proportions.