Old Fashioned Chipped Beef

Creamed chipped beef is a classic dish that contains thin slices of dry beef cooked in a seasoned cream sauce that often contains onions and mushrooms. It can be served for dinner or lunch. In some areas of the country it is served at breakfast.

It was common in the early part of the 20th. Century to keep canned meats on hand. Other common canned meats were tuna, salmon and lunch meat. Few housewives had a car and grocery shopping was not done as often as it is now. The early refrigerators did not have much in the way of freezer space to store meat.

Whether you include mushrooms and onions or not the dish is tasty and filling. Serve the beef and cream sauce spooned over toast, biscuits, cornbread, boiled or mashed or baked potatoes, rice or buttered noodles. Add a salad or a vegetable and a dessert to complete the meal.

This version of chipped beef is the recipe my great grandmother taught to my great aunt. That means it dates back to the late 1800’s. She passed it on to my mother. I’ve passed it on to my daughter and granddaughter and hope they will pass it on to my great granddaughters.

The recipe will serve four.


  • 1 jar or package of chipped beef
  • ¼ cup of butter (1/2 stick)
  • ½ cup of onion, diced
  • 1 small can of mushrooms
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in ¼ cup of boiling water
  • Pepper
  • Dry mustard
  • Paprika
  • Worcestershire sauce


Put the chipped beef in a strainer and pour hot water over the slices until they are no longer as salty. Tear the beef into smaller pieces. Set aside in the strainer to drain. Dissolve the chicken bouillon cubes in ¼ cup of boiling water and set aside. Prepare the onion and drain the can of mushrooms.

Melt the butter over medium high heat in a heavy deep frying pan. Add the chipped beef. Stir around with a wooden spoon. The beef slices need to “frizzle” meaning the edges will begin to brown and curl up. Add the onion and when it is tender add the drained mushrooms. Sauté the beef, onion and mushrooms for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. Stir in the flour and seasonings until smooth. Add the milk and bouillon slowly while constantly stirring. Return to the stove. Stir constantly over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough. Taste and add salt if needed, it usually isn’t.

Chipped beef can be kept warm in a double boiler or in a low oven in a covered casserole dish. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave.


The recipe can be doubled.

Add more milk or water if it becomes too thick.

If you are running low on milk use half water. Powdered or canned milk can be used.

Leftover peas or corn can be added.

A good casserole can be made of peeled boiled sliced potatoes or 1  8 oz. package of cooked and drained egg noodles. Combine, pour into a casserole dish and cover the top with buttered bread crumbs. Cover with a lid or with foil and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the cover the last 10 minutes so the bread crumbs brown.

A half pound of hamburger or sausage meat can be used instead of the chipped beef. You would not need  as much butter as these meats contain fat.

My great grandmother used bacon grease instead of butter. My great aunt used butter.


About dwittopinions

A great grandmother living in the middle of the United States. My interests include art, needlework, reading, history, politics, and cooking.
This entry was posted in Dinner, Food, Lunch, Main Dishes, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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