“Shit on a Shingle”

“Shit on a Shingle”

By Garland Davis

Maybe you know them by various names. Maybe you know them by their less savory name, Shit on a Shingle. But if you know these breakfast dishes at all, you know they are quite possibly the best way to start the day.

Especially if you’re having a rough start to your day.

Creamed Ground Beef is a stick-to-your-ribs, no-frills meal that’s been a military standby for more than a century. In 1910’s Manual for Army Cooks, you’ll find the dish described as a creamy blend of salted and dried chipped beef, evaporated milk, butter, and flour—all doled out over a few slices of toast (a.k.a. shingles).

If the meal sounds like the nutritional equivalent of eating a pile of bacon cheddar cheese fries, fear not. You can still satisfy your hangover cravings without busting your gut.


Creamed Ground Beef

What you’ll need:

1 lb. ground beef (80% lean)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 small onion, diced

Salt and pepper, to taste

3½ cups whole milk

½ cup vegetable or chicken stock

1 tsp fresh sage, chopped, plus more for garnish

½ cup all-purpose flour

4 medium ¼-inch thick slices sourdough bread, toasted

How to make it:

1. In a large, deep skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Crumble in the beef and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 8 minutes. Drain enough grease so that some still coats the skillet. Add the onions, and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 2 ½ cups of the milk and all of the stock into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits from the bottom of the skillet. Mix in the sage then bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, mix the flour into the last cup of milk until smooth. Slowly pour this mixture into the skillet, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. (If the gravy is too thick, thin with a little additional milk. If it is too thin, simmer longer, or add more flour.) Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.

3. To serve, place 1 slice of toasted bread or split biscuit on a plate and smother with the gravy. Garnish with sage. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 701 calories, 36g protein, 61g carbohydrates (2g fiber), 35g fat


Minced Beef is a red spicy, meaty gravy served over toast. A great start to one’s day.


Minced Beef on Toast (Train Smash)

  • 1 1⁄2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • cooking oil, if needed
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 tablespoons flour, approximate
  • 1 (16 ounce) can whole tomatoes, diced
  • 5 1⁄2 ounces tomato juice
  • 2 cups hot water, approximate
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg, to taste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar, to taste


  1. Crumble the ground beef into a skillet and brown with the onions.
  2. If beef is very lean, add a tablespoon or two of cooking oil.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add flour, one tablespoon at a time, stirring and cooking each spoonful, before adding the next.
  5. The flour must be cooked to preclude a starchy taste throughout.
  6. Add enough flour to absorb most of the oil.
  7. Stir in the tomatoes and the tomato juice, followed by the water.
  8. Allow to simmer on low heat to thicken.
  9. Adjust consistency as necessary.
  10. Add nutmeg and sugar and adjust to taste.

This is the original “Shit on a Shingle”


Creamed Dried Beef on Toast


· 5 cups Milk

· ¾ cup All-purpose Flour

· ½ tsp Salt

· ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper

· ½ cup Butter

· 12 oz Dried Beef


· Whisk milk, flour, salt and pepper together until smooth.

· Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.

· Gradually stir in the milk mixture until thickened.

· Rinse beef in hot water and cut into ½ inch strips.

· Add beef to flour and milk mixture and simmer for five minutes.

· Serve over toast or biscuits.


Creamed Eggs



  1. Melt butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk in flour.
  3. When bubbly, whisk in milk a little at a time.
  4. Add salt.
  5. Continue to whisk til thick and bubbly.
  6. Remove from heat and add chopped eggs.
  7. Toast and butter slices of bread.
  8. Lay slices on individual plates and spoon on Creamed Eggs.
  9. Serve.

7 thoughts on ““Shit on a Shingle”

  1. Glenn Stang says:

    Frozen version of SOS chipped beef ain’t too bad. Cream sauce. Ate some at FRA last week. SOS in all its forms was my mainstay for many years in the 60s. Your recipe looks a little tastier. Thanks.


  2. John Croix MMCS(SW) ret 1961-1988 says:

    I always preferred the minced beef over the “foreskins on toast”. I had found the recipes for all online, but the recipes were always the ones that served 100 portions and I never took the time to break them down for a home meal. You’ve done that and I thank you. I’ll be making some minced beef this week.


  3. George Tolman says:

    Any chance you haave the recipe for the breakfast beans we used to get in the 1960’s? I loved those beans!


  4. Jim Collins says:

    Still cook at 79, and make creamed chipped beef, or creamed tuna , just add green peas to either, serve over toast or bisquits wonderful for dinner.


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