Comfort Food for Trying Times

Or, it’s been a while since I posted a recipe.  My mother used to make this one; I don’t know whether it was Texas Depression-era family comfort food for her, or WWII Women’s Army Air Force food, but she would put it together for the family in a cast-iron skillet, possibly toward the end of a budgetary month (the key ingredients being shelf-stable, it’s a good recipe for that.)

Creamed Beef on Toast

Ingredients

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper (freshly ground, if possible)
1/4 cup flour
4 T butter
1 1/2 cups (one 12-ounce can) evaporated milk
2 4-ounce jars dried beef
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Preparation

Put dried beef in a colander and pour boiling water over it; pull beef apart and tear into thumb size pieces; set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet, whisk in the flour until smooth.

Add the milk and water, stirring rapidly with the whisk until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the seasonings; add the chipped beef and stir to mix thoroughly.

Heat through and serve on toast points. (Or unpointed toast, or biscuits, or whatever carbohydrate takes your fancy. I’ve heard of people putting it on baked potatoes, even. But toast is easy.)

Serves 6 people once around, or 3 people with seconds. Or one person on a comfort food binge who doesn’t mind reheating leftovers.

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