Venison S.O.S. Recipe for the Uninitiated

This is the venison S.O.S. recipe that you need in your life.

We'll say it right off the top: S.O.S. stands for Sh*t On a Shingle, and it might be the best thing that came out of the commissary.

This meal has been a staple for our military men and while its name may have started off as a joke, it is anything but when you try our version.

This dish is steeped in American military tradition, and has since made its way into homes across the country. Of course, it is the name that makes it so memorable. The Sh*t: the mighty topping, usually made from dried beef, but for our purposes, venison. The Shingle: the toasted bread that it is served on that gives it the body and something to soak up all that gravy cream sauce goodness.

You heard me: gravy.

Since we now have your untold attention, and knowing that any recipe that includes with gravy is great, we'll try to engage you in another version of this great sustenance to keep you going as a hunter, fisherman, and the all-around outdoorsman that you are.

Creamed chipped beef on toast is an easy, filling and inexpensive way to make a tasty, nostalgic dish. Turning it into a wild game meal makes it even more interesting.

According to Wide Open Eats,

"The first recipe for the creamed beef on toast comes from the 1910 Manual for Army Cooks and uses beef stock, evaporated milk, parsley, flour, butter, and dried beef. During World War II, soldiers used chipped beef in place of dried."

Now, when we hear "dried venison," our minds instantly go to jerky. But true "chipped" venison is different. You can follow along with this old, archived method from Love of the Hunt TV. Or, simply adapt a chipped beef recipe. As a total alternative, you can always use ground venison for a different end product, but less work and the same general idea.

The rest of the components are as easy to get as it is to put together.


Serves 4-6 hungry wild game enthusiasts.

  • 1 lb. chipped (or ground) venison
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne (optional)
  • 4 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 cups half and half or milk
  • 12 slices bread of your choice

A cast iron skillet is the best way to do this, but whatever large pan you have on hand that you know and trust will work.

The Process

If you're using ground venison, brown it in a small amount of oil ahead of time and set aside.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in the milk or half and half gradually and season it with the ground nutmeg, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook until thick and season the white sauce with black pepper. Don't let it cook too long or the gravy will turn brown.

Add the (chipped or ground) deer meat and set the heat to low.

Toast the bread and place it on a plate. This is the "shingle" part of the S.O.S.

Top the shingle with the gravy and meat mixture.

The Last Word

This recipe can also be made with ground beef, cooking the meat in your skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Traditionally this hamburger gravy is served on toast but you can serve it over mashed potatoes or use it in a breakfast or lunch casserole.

S.O.S. is the epitome of comfort food. Other common additions include Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, buttermilk (instead of regular), mushroom soup, pork sausage, and even bell pepper or other veggies as you see fit.

Sure, this stuff can add to your daily fat, cholesterol, and carbohydrate intake, but you're not going to eat it every night, so why not live a little?

The best part is that the ingredients could be as close as your pantry and freezer, so it's about time to try it.

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