Creamed Chipped Beef is a classic American dish that originated around WWII. It was (and is) an easy recipe to make, consisting of only five ingredients, and it was perfect for the times because it called for dried beef, so soldiers didn’t have to worry about it spoiling.
Dried beef is not the same thing as beef jerky or beef that’s been left to dry out; it’s a type of meat that looks like salami, but needs a little TLC to get it tasting as good as possible. That’s where the sauce in this recipe comes in. The chipped beef is cooked in a sauce that’s similar to béchamel and they each get something from the other–the salty meat flavors the sauce and the sauce gives moisture and creaminess to the meat. The perfect relationship. Creamed chipped beef is an American classic, and absolutely worth making from scratch!
Creamed Chipped Beef
- 1 (5 oz.) jar dried chipped beef
- 3 1/2 cups half-and-half (or milk or cream)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Melt butter in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Tear chipped beef into small pieces and add it to the butter.
- Cook beef for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges begin to curl. The meat will release some of its salt as it cooks.
- Gradually add flour to the pan, stirring until a thick paste forms.
- Pour in half-and-half and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue stirring until thick and creamy.
- Cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired consistency is reached.
- Toast 4-6 pieces of bread and set aside.
- Once desired thickness is reached, bring sauce back up to a boil and whisk vigorously for 1 minute.
- Taste and season with pepper (salt is probably unnecessary) and place a combination of beef and sauce over toast.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from The Cooking Geek