Chipped Beef on Toast

Also known as "Shit on a Shingle", which is a dysphemism, (as opposed to a euphemism), probably originating in World War II military slang. My parents both enjoyed the dish, both went through World War II, and both referred to it with the dysphemism. My mom was a great cook, and she added sherry and freshly grated parmesan to the white sauce, which does wonders for the dish.

Ingredients
  • Chipped Beef on Toast
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups milk, or half-and-half
  • 1 jar dried beef (Hormel or Armour)
  • 1/2 ounce sherry
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan
  • Crusty bread slices
Instructions
  1. Make a bechamel sauce: In a heavy saucepan over very low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour, pepper, and paprika. Note the color of the sauce right after you add the paprika, then stir constantly until the color changes very slightly toward yellow/brown - you're making a light roux - you should have to stir no more than 3 to 5 minutes
  2. Slowly whisk in the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and slightly thickened.
  3. Stir in sherry and parmesan
  4. Toast bread slices
  5. Meanwhile, open the jar of meat. Rinse and drain the meat in the jar with warm water. Do this 3 or 4 times to remove excess salt and to soften the meat. Drain the meat and lay it on paper towels to absorb the excess moisture. Cut the meat into strips and add  to the white sauce
  6. Continue to whisk the sauce and cook until it's like a thick gravy, then serve over toasted bread.