I first heard of shit on a shingle (SOS) when I was in Officer Candidate School for the Coast Guard. I was sailing on the CG Cutter Eagle when one of the captains ordered this dish from the galley. I was confused: What the hell is shit? Why is it on a shingle?
I quickly learned that SOS is basically gravy with ground meat or sausage on toast. The shit is the sausage gravy and the shingle is the toast. Topping it with an egg is optional but highly recommended. The dish itself is steeped in military tradition with most branches serving this meal at some bases or outposts. It’s cheap, easy, and filling for a long day in the field or on the water—making it perfect for hunters and anglers too.
Time to make
1 lb. ground venison
1 tbsp. oil
4 tbsp. butter
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp. fresh sage, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
Dash of chili flakes (optional)
4 tbsp. flour
2 cups half and half
12 slices of bread
Also works with
Any ground meat
Cast iron pan, non-stick pan
- Preheat a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and ground venison. Cook venison until brown. Remove and set aside.
- Using the same pan, melt the butter and stir in the shallots. Mix in the sage, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and red chili flakes. Stir well until the shallots begin to turn translucent.
- Mix in the flour and allow it to brown for a few seconds. Do not let the flour cook for too long or the gravy with turn brown. Whisk in the half and half and bring to a simmer. Stir in the ground meat and allow the gravy to thicken.
- While you wait, bring a large non-stick pan to medium-high heat. Butter each side of the bread slices and toast in batches. Use the same non-stick pan to cook the eggs to your liking.
- Remove the gravy from the heat once it’s slightly thick. You should still be able to drag your spoon across the bottom of the pan to part the sauce and it will not immediately refill the space.
- Top the toast with gravy and add your eggs on top.