© Randal Oulton
Chipped Beef is very thin slices of salted, smoked beef. It is not as dry as beef jerky, and doesn’t have as much fat.
It can be made in different ways.
It can be slices of beef taken off a hunk of air-dried beef, usually a lean meat such as beef round. The beef round is put in a very salty brine to cure for several days, then drained, and hung in a cold room to dry.
Alternatively, it can be made from pieces of chopped (“chipped”) beef that are pressed together to form slices.
Some Chipped Beef brands are smoked as they are drying.
Chipped Beef is sold packaged in small jars, cans or in pouches hanging in the deli chiller sections at supermarkets. It’s not always labelled as “Chipped Beef”: sometimes it is labelled “dried beef”, sometimes it may be described as “smoked, sliced, chopped, pressed, cooked.”
Brands include Hormel, Buddig, Armour, Esskay, etc.
Chipped Beef was first made by the Amish in Pennsylvania, US. In Pennsylvania, it is sold in supermarkets and it used to be very common at family dinner tables.
It was served a lot in the US military, in a cream sauce, on toast. The dish was officially known as Creamed Chip Beef, but was unofficially referred to as “Shit on a Shingle.”
Taste any recipe you are using chipped beef in before you add any salt; you may not want any more salt than is in the beef. The saltiness varies by manufacturer.
Chipped Beef is meant to be used more as a flavouring item in dishes.
It can be used for Creamed Chip Beef or stirred into scrambled eggs.
If you are watching your sodium intake, you may wish to enjoy this meat in small quantities at a time.
Good Chipped Beef needs to be stored refrigerated.