No one knows the true origin of this phrase, used to describe creamed chipped (rehydrated) beef in a basic white sauce, served over toast. The phrase came into wide use among American GI’s during WW2. Polite versions of it included “same old stuff”, or “stew on a shingle.”
The dish is easy to make from off the shelf ingredients, and is also available ready-made in canned and frozen (boiling bag) versions. If you’re punting from scratch, buy a jar of the meat from Hormel, who are also kind enough to furnish a recipe on their website.
For some reason (!!?!?!?) I had a box of the latter, made by Stouffer’s, in the freezer, and it seemed like a quick and apt accompaniment to my lunch time activity of doing the Sunday NYT crossword. Why didn’t I do it yesterday? Because in spite of having two plastic newspaper condoms surrounding, it arrived wet (go figure, it’s been raining for 90 days here), so I had to wait for it to try out.
So, boiled it up in its bag, and plopped two pieces of Franz’s white bread into the toaster. Franz is a local Portland baker, and the real, actual, true-to-life inventor of the hamburger bun. If it weren’t for that fact, I’d pass on Franzen’s bread, it’s twice the price of local store brands.
The box says there are 2 1/2 servings in the 11 oz packet, but I didn’t have any trouble polishing off the entire pack. It’s heavy in carbs and sodium, if you care about that.
BTW, Stouffer’s? You have a promo on the back of the box to join the “Dinner Club?” But as far as I can see, there are no instructions as to how to do that. And I’m too lazy to go to your website and see if it’s there. (OK, obviously I DID end up going to the site).
The Stouffer’s product is fairly good, really not much flavor, and I expected it to taste saltier. This basic kind of comfort food, most of the Stouffer products you would have a hard time finding something to complain about. I love their creamed spinach and their apple thingie, tho don’t often buy either. Instructions are to simmer in water for 18 minutes, or 9 minutes in your microwave, given a choice, I will always take the boiling option. (No, I don’t know why; I guess it seems more like “cooking.”)
Anyway, I’m full. I liked it. Bought it before, and I will again. (BTW, my mother used to ‘try’ and make this. Not that she failed, but when she went to the pantry for the jar of beef, it had usually been eaten by some precocious boy, and I ain’t telling who).
Tonight, it’s Asian stir-fry. Beef in a Japanese marinade supplied by the marinade master at Domo Dogs. Many thanks, Buddman.