Hannah Palmer Egan
Chipped beef on toast, aka shit on a shingle
Most mornings, my breakfast
involves one egg and a huge pile of sautéed greens, plus a handful of fresh salad greens. Sometimes I'll add a bit of cured pork product — I'll take any excuse to eat sausage, bacon or ham — and tortilla or grilled bread.
But if'n I see Shit on a Shingle (aka chipped beef on toast) on a breakfast menu, I usually order it. First, there's the sound of it: Turn the phrase over in your mouth and see if you can say it without invoking a thick old-timer accent. Something about the cadence of the words, the double sh- sound, the alliteration … It feels camp-y and rustic, like something that would come from the mouth of a naughty old man who lives in the woods.
Then there's the dish itself: hefty slabs of toast, griddled with butter to a light crisp and then smothered in velvety milk gravy flecked with salted shaved beef. Assuming you're hungry and not diabetic, how could you not
order such a thing?
Last week, I found a version topped with runny eggs and served with a bottomless cup of coffee at Green Acres Restaurant
in Peru, N.Y. The house-baked bread was grilled to an ideal, effervescent puff; the gravy was rich and smooth; the eggs were perfectly over-easy. It made a solid start to a day spent driving through the mountains sampling local beers.
Breakfast Club is a series that explores what we eat in the morning. Do you have a favorite? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.