More flavorful SOS recipes

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jul 17, 2013
Central Michigan
Need some recipes for a  more flavorful SOS,  beyond the icky standard one,  of roux, dried beef, milk, salt & pepper.

I'm using Pop's Dried Beef.  Wife and I both love it!

I don't like the standard white milk gravy.   Gravy turns to school paste before my meal is done, and then flavor quits on me.

All I can taste from halfway through the meal, and beyond, is paste.  LOL  Same thing when I was in Army.  Good beginning, bad ending.

A more flavorful recipe or more will be appreciated very much.

What flavors/seasonings and methods do you use?   Remember to give amounts and methods too.

Thanks for your tasteful help,

[sub]Not sure if this is the right forum to post in or not, but it's the closest to what I can see.  If not, then mods are free free to move to right one.[/sub]
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Hello.  I don't know how much help this will be.  I use half milk and half water.  You can also use 1/3rd evaporated milk and 2/3rd water ( REALLY rich but nice flavour).  I also add a pinch of onion powder and a pinch of garlic powder ( sometimes a sprinkle of fresh cilantro at the end ).  How much is a pinch?  How much gravy?  Garlic for breakfast isn't my thing so it has to be just a background flavour that makes you wonder what that is.  I think the water helps a bit but that school paste is just the nature of the beast, in my opinion.  Has to be thick enough to stick to the toast. Start with the finished product being a bit more runny; not such a thick gravy to start with.  I often use cheap ground beef to make mine and use the fat to make the gravy.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

Thanks Danny.  I appreciate the feedback.  Thank you.

I think I've almost figured out what I like.  I used more spices in my sauce the other day.  But unlike my wife, I cooked my flour roux for about 5 minutes, before adding milk.  That alone, made a BIG difference!  She doesn't cook her flour out.  Just mixes with butter and starts adding milk.

We cooked our individual batches side by side, and tasted each other when done. We each liked our own better. 

She, being a navy brat, is not inclined to change because that is her comfort food.  Mom and Dad always made it this way.  LOL

It takes her back to memories of her dad and his love.  Isn't that what comfort food is supposed to do?

For me, I think I will use 2/3 milk and 1/3 beef stock next time along with herbs & spices I like, and it should be just right for me.

Of course then I am getting close to just beef gravy (LOL) but that's okay too.
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I saw Alton Brown's special for preparing for Thanksgiving this fall and wrote down how he did his gravy to keep it from becoming solid/paste.

2 Cups stock (or whatever liquid you are using).  Then he mixed 1/2 cup stock and 1 T flour together and poured it in the stock that was warming (but not hot yet).  Let it come to a simmer for a few minutes to cook out the flour taste.  Then shut off the heat and let it cool down some (has to get below boiling point, think he said specifically below 180 degrees).  It is still pretty thin at this point.  Then he mixed together 1/2 cup stock and 1 T potato starch, mixed it into the cooler gravy and then turned up the heat.  Heated until it thickened up.  He gave one of his goofy scientific explination of how it all works (something about the starch molecules not letting the flour molecules get completely solidified again or something, he lost me).

I did this for Thanksgiving this year and had much better success with than pure flour or pure corn starch gravy of the past (although those were always good).  I also upped the flour and potato starch some (about 1 1/4 or 1 1/3 T or so of each cause the first time I did it the gravy wasn't quite as thick as I like mine).  Takes a little more time, but I thought it turned out better.  Just have to adjust for how much gravy you want (I did about a double batch for the family on Thanksgiving).
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Gotta love Alton Brown.  His episodes are a pain the in butt to watch because of all the nonsense cutesy  things (he thinks, anyway). but if you cut through the BS, you usually learn something from him.
My typical recipe is as follows...JJ


4T Butter

1/2C Fine Diced Onion

4oz Chipped Beef, more if desired,cut in thin strips.

4T Flour

4C Milk, room temp

1/2tsp Black Pepper

1/8tsp Fresh Grated Nutmeg

1 Sprig Fresh Thyme, pinch dry, optional

Salt to Taste

Melt Butter and sweat Onions until soft.

Add Beef, Pepper and Nutmeg, Saute 2 minutes.

Add Flour and saute about 5 minutes.

Add Milk and whisk until well combined.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer to desired thickness, stirring frequently.

Adjust seasoning and serve over Toast with Buttered Peas.

Makes 4 Cups
Thanks JJ.

That's real close to how I made my person batch last time, except for nutmeg (will have to try that), and I added a little Italian herbs.

My onions were diced so fine you could taste them, but not feel them.

I'm beginning to learn that I will never like a "true" SOS because of my dislike of milk gravy, so I am on my own there I guess.  I can doctor most anything, and will resort to that method for my own SOS gravy.

But if I can hit a happy medium between my semi beef milk gravy, and wife's milk gravy, maybe we can make a single batch instead of two.  But I doubt it.  She's a purest, when it comes to her SOS.  LOL

Also I cannot convince her that it is best as a breakfast, or lunch, meal.  She will only eat it for lunch or supper.  Preferably supper.

When I was in army we were only served SOS at breakfast.  It was good for that, whether you liked it or not!  Because it stuck with you, and kept you energized most of the day.  Eating it for supper is a waste of energy, as it just goes to stored calories (fat on your belly or behind) when sleeping.
This thread has served it's purpose.   No need for any more input.

I've learned there is no secret, and to season and make it my way, and not insult the purist, for enjoying it, as is.

I will have to try Alton Brown's recipe that jrod mentioned though.  If it will keep gravy's from becoming too thick after cooling a bit, I'm all for it.

Thanks everyone for trying to help me out.  You did. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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