Hamburger SOS

Fran Miller Recipe

By Fran Miller TchrLdy71

6 servings
5 Min
20 Min
Stove Top

This easy-to-make dish comes from Depression cooking, where a little meat could be stretched to feed & fill up a lot of people, and from the United States military, for the same reason. As a Navy Brat born to Depression Era parents, it's a given that this dish would be on our table!

If you prefer the Chipped Beef version, cut the dry beef into small pieces. Make a roux from butter, flour, and milk, then add the chipped beef pieces after it thickens.

For those who weren't military brats, the SOS stands for "S--- On a Shingle" OR "Same Old S---." Bet you can figure it out! =^..^=


1 1/2 lb
ground beef
1/2 c
all purpose flour
4 c
cold liquids (milk & water) see note in step #3.
salt & pepper, optional

Directions Step-By-Step

Brown ground beef in a large skillet, stirring often. Do NOT drain.

WARNING: Product Endorsement. I love my ChopStir when I'm cooking ground beef! It's the best kitchen gadget EVER! (OK, I'm finished.)
Sprinkle the flour over the ground beef and stir for about 5 minutes, which will lightly brown the flour and soak up the grease.
Now, it's time to add the cold liquids. I personally use about 3 cups of milk & 1 cup of cold water, but this is a personal decision. If I'm low on milk, I just make up the difference in cold water. No one has ever noticed yet. =^..^=

So add the liquids and stir well.
Add salt & pepper, if desired. Continue cooking the gravy for a few more minutes until it thickens to your desired consistency.

If it's too thin, cook it longer.
If it's too thick, add a little more cold liquid.
Serve over slices of toast (the "shingles" of SOS fame; see note above) and/or mashed potatoes.

Or skip the knife and tear up the toast pieces before adding the gravy. Just keeping it simple, right? =^..^=

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Beef, Burgers
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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Fran Miller TchrLdy71
Aug 7, 2013
Jo Beth, that sounds delicious! Thanks for posting & giving us another option. I bet your father-in-law had a LOT of good recipes from his Army days! =^..^=
Jo Beth McGilbra mcgilbraj
Aug 7, 2013
We add two or three Bay Leaves to the basic flour/milk recipe. My husband's father was a cook in the Army in 1930-1950 era, and that is where their SOS tradition came from. Love it!!!
Fran Miller TchrLdy71
Aug 5, 2013
Another great yummy option, Patricia. Thanks for sharing! Mary Ann, I actually just took a freezer container of SOS Gravy out & heated it up for supper. Since I had leftover mashed potatoes & applesauce, I just toasted a piece of bread to go with it. A nap is on my agenda, too. I confess that I'm a "comfort foodie." Thanks for posting, ladies! =^..^=
Mary Ann Hanson DeaconGrandma
Aug 5, 2013
OMG!!!! Comfort food heaven!!!!! I could take a nap after just reading that!!!!!
Patricia taylor jojoandsamson
Aug 5, 2013
I make this with a can of cream of mushroom soup instead of, love, love this cheap tasty meal. Ispoon over mashed potatoes and add a scoop of green peas...yum!