I seem to have developed a taste for institutional...wait, institutional style food. Go Army.
Nothing says lovin' like a warm meal after you have been up all night laying in a swamp fending off chiggers, ticks and mosquitoes which happen to be the state bird of any location you happen to serve at. Back to camp for a nice hot breakfast. 9 times out of 10 this will be the only menu choice. It's what you crave. Eat up, it's all good.
I don't get a chance much to pony up to those Super Duper Double Decker Grand Slam Big Breakfast Buffets anymore but when I want a hearty stick to your ribs breakfast, this is what I make.
Actually beef in cream sauce(stuff) on toast(shingle), this is my recreation of the classic dish.
DISCLAIMER: This ain't no mamby pamby afternoon tea cucumber finger sandwich fare. This is full of calories.
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Step 1: KP Duty
Someone has to do the prepwork. I guess that is me.
Have some cooked potatoes on hand to make a batch of home fries.
You will need for the creamed beef:
A handfull of ground beef. Traditional recipe uses chipped beef which I am guessing comes out of a can since I think it is like corned or preserved beef.
cream, milk or half and half
beef base, demi-glace or beef stock to up the beefy flavor
flour or cornstarch for thickener
Step 2: Home Fries
I usually peel enough potatoes(about 2 lbs or half my 5 lb sack) to fill my medium pot. Make plenty because you can use any leftovers to make potato salad or any other side dish.
Slice them into bite sized chunks and place into the pot. Some prefer to leave and eat the skins, I only do that with red potatoes. This makes it easier to cook than if they were whole.
Rinse out with cold water to get rid of the excess starch.
Throw in a chopped onion. You can also add in salt, garlic powder, onion powder and any other spices you like.
Cover all with water and boil for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are almost fall apart texture. You should be able to stab them with a fork easily. The rest of the cooking will be done in a frying pan. Watch the pot so it doesn't foam and boil over.
Heat up a skillet and add some oil or butter.
Slide in a batch of pre-cooked potatoes and sprinkle with paprika to give it some color. You can also add in some diced peppers which I had none.
Cook until you get crispy bits.
Remove to a plate and hold for the rest of the ingredients.
Step 3: Other Pieces of the Puzzle...
Get a pot of coffee brewing. A big pot.
Throw some bread slices in the toaster. Toast to desired doneness.
After you are finished frying up the home fries, wipe out any crumbs and put in some more oil or butter.
Fry an egg. Any style you like.
When done, put aside in a warm plate with your home fries.
We are trying to make this a one pan dish to minimize the clean-up necessary afterwards.
Step 4: Umm, Ummm, Good...
Put a chunk of ground beef into the pan.
Spread it out and brown.
You could drain off any excess fat but you would be losing out on the added flavor.
Next, add your thickening agent of choice, soapsuds for napalm, flour for creamed beef.
I am using cornstarch so you have to make a slurry with it first or else you get lumpy chunks of chunks in your dish.
Add some water to about a spoonful or two of cornstarch to dissolve it completely. I also added in my beef base here. The concentrated flavor in that stuff is intense so use carefully. Salt and pepper to taste if needed.
With flour, you can just dump it directly nto the beef and let it cook a bit with the fat in the pan to get a roux.
Cover the beef with your milk or cream and let that come to a boil.
You can then stir in your cornstarch.
Keep stirring as it gets heated, it will thicken up.
If you measure like me, you may need to add some more liquid to thin out the "gravy". If the spoon stands upright by itself in the mix, I think you overdid it.
If you don't want to go through the trouble just spoon out half a can of "condensed cream of mushroom soup" and thin out with milk.
Substitute in sausage bits for the beef and serve over biscuits for that "biscuits and gravy".
Step 5: Service With a Smile...
Cut your toast slices on the diagonal to get toast triangles. You get fancy because you can now call them toast points.
Drink your coffee with your pinky sticking out.
And remember to splash on the hot sauce for the finishing touch.
We like it. We love it. We want more of it. Thank you, Drill Sergeant.
Comment as you like but no war stories, please.
Participated in the
Comfort Food Contest