It is said that an army fights well on a full stomach, and the Marine Corps is no Exception. Always and foremost, in training or in combat, the breakfast meal is No. 1 for every “grunt,” “Airedale” and “pinky” at the start of the workday. Breakfast is the link to “making it” that day, and “a breakfast without SOS is like a day without sunshine.”
Over the years the recipe changed depending on the availability of supplies and the mood of the cook. Other branches of service also serve their versions of SOS, but they haven’t mastered the Marines technique of preparing this marvelous breakfast presentation.
A number of years ago, a Marine artillery brigadier general requested/ordered that a recipe for the Marine Corps’ famous SOS (creamed beef on toast) be developed so that it could be served to a small group of about eight persons. This way the general could have his wife make it. The official recipe for mess halls is for serving 300 or more. The challenge of accurately paring down the recipe fell to the general’s chief field cook, Master Sergeant Bernie Parker. After many tired and a few mistakes “Top” Parker came up with the following near-perfect recipe:
Recipe for “Marine Breakfast”
(Serves eight or two hungry Marines)
½ pound ground beef (ground chuck for flavor)
1-tablespoon bacon fat (lard/Crisco or butter)
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk (add more milk if you want it thinner)
Pepper to taste
8 slices of dry toast
Using a large skillet (12-14 inches), crumb1e and brown the ground beef with fat and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. Mix in the flour until all of the meat is covered, using all of the flour. Replace the skillet on the heat and stir in the milk. Keep stirring until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens (boil a minimum of one minute).
Serve over the toast. Salt and pepper to taste.
—Forwarded via email by 1stSgt. Philip D. Ciofalo, USMC (ret) Berlinville, Pa.
—From Leatherneck Magazine, December 2005, Sound Off Section