Dried Beef is a slowly cured, lean beef which is trimmed of most fat to attain ultimate leanness. It's mildly salty, yet beefy and smoky flavor profile has leant itself well to many recipe applications over the last 100 plus years...but undoubtedly, the best recipe marriage with dried beef is just a little milk, flour and butter to create the classic "Creamed Chipped Beef" recipe which first appeared in the manual for Army Cooks in 1910.
Quick look...want to see the Army's creamed chipped beef recipe for 60 men?
15 pounds (6.8kg) chipped beef
1 1/2 pound (680g) butter
1¼ lbs (560g) of flour
2 12-oz cans of evaporated milk
1 bunch parsley
¼ oz (7g) pepper
6 quarts (6l) beef stock
1.Brown the flour in the butter.
2.Dissolve the milk in the beef stock, and then add that to the pot.
3.Stir this together slowly to prevent lumping, and then add the beef.
4.Cook for a few minutes, add the parsley, and serve over toast.
In the United States Army, chipped beef on toast was emblematic of the military experience, much as yellow pea soup is in Finland or Sweden. It was hearty, comforting and familiar! As the recipe was becoming more accepted into U.S. households (after the 1950's), many new twists on the recipe included onions, hardboiled eggs, garlic powder, beef base and Worcestershire sauce to enhance the dish.
Today, Creamed Chipped Beef is still widely enjoyed across the country. It can still be made from scratch or bought already prepared in the frozen or refrigerated food aisles. Either way, Creamed Chipped Beef is just one of those satisfying and easy to prepare meals which can be enjoyed at any time of the day! Long live Creamed Chipped Beef!