Low Carb Keto SOS – (*stuff* on a shingle)

Posted by on January 10, 2015 in Breakfasts, Gluten Free Recipes, Low Carb Keto Recipes | 12 comments

Low Carb Keto SOS – (*stuff* on a shingle)

This is a tale of a family classic Marine Corp SOS—a decidedly high carb meat and cream gravy recipe similar to sausage gravy. Find out where the Fluffys’ encountered SOS and how they morphed and tamed it into a perfectly delicious and well-behaved low carb keto, economical, Fluffy Chix Cook main course, perfect for any meal. Did your family grow up eating SOS?














Dad served in World War II. He was 17 when he joined the Marines, and lied about his age in order to sign up. He was a gunnery sergeant during the war and a US Marine until the day he went home, at the tender age of 69. For the first year, he was part of the landing forces during Guadalcanal and other lesser known, but equally vicious island assaults in the Pacific theater. He was wounded and came home on leave to recuperate and to attend Annapolis. Dad was worn out, and had little patience. He could not handle what he thought was the “sophomoric” behavior of fellow cadets. after seeing hard battle and atrocities you can’t even imagine. He did the only thing he could do…he dropped out of Annapolis and asked to return to the War to join his outfit.




When he returned to his outfit, he landed aboard the newly commissioned light cruiser named the Astoria III (CL-90, aka the Mighty 90) destined for Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, and Task Force II. He served out the remaining year of the war manning one of the “big guns” as a leader of two of the 20mm gun crews on the Mighty 90, supporting the carriers of the Fast Carrier Task Group, as they prepared to invade the Pacific Islands and prepared for a Japanese invasion. According to our mama, he also did recon missions scouting gun positions and coordinates along the coast of China and Japan. He came home with a plaque showing the 13 kamikaze kills made by his gun crew. The gun crews on the ship became skilled kamikaze teams. And he came home with demons and nightmares.




Like every other service man and woman who comes home, Dad came home a changed man. No longer the care-free, spoiled, and coddled son of a first generation Irish immigrant, he was a Marine through and through. Ship shape! When I say jump, you don’t ask how high, you just jump! He met and married Mom, and was re-called to the Marines during the Korean Conflict. And he and Mama started their family. As we grew up, we were taught to never wake him from a sound sleep. He was a strong man, a loyal and true father and husband, and a devoted hunter-gatherer and home cook/bbqer. And he came home with an abiding, 40+ year love and fixation with the infamous Marine Corps SOS, the stuff they served on the Astoria.




Every week Dad tried to recreate his beloved SOS. And week after week, when Mom, Dad and WaWa (Dad’s mama who lived with us) conducted the “after report,” he’d pronounce that week’s attempt a bust. Of course, it also helped that during those times a pound of burger meat could feed a family of eight (5 children with 2 teen sons and 3 adults). Not too shabby! In retrospect, we suspect it was the lack of lard in the recipe. Of course, it could also be that he was trying to make it for 8 instead of 300, as the original recipe scaled to feed.




He never did succeed with re-creating his Marine Corps SOS. My heart breaks. He did however, produce 4 out of the 5 children who became dedicated SOS haters as a direct result of the weekly SOS skirmishes. And he had 1 who took up his torch and carries on with Dad’s SOS Wars of WWII, to this very day.




Did you grow up eating SOS??? And bonus points if you know what SOS stands for!!! Drop us a comment and let us know, mkay?








Here’s the Fluffys’ latest attempt at the Marine Corps inspired SOS. Luckily Mr. Fluffy, whose own father was the youngest sergeant major in Marine Corps history, and also served in the Pacific theater at the same time Daddy served, loves this stuff too, especially when it’s served over Induction friendly Keto Buns (of steel). Now, before you start sending nasti-grams, please know that we are very aware that the Marines would not have used wine during WWII, and certainly wouldn’t have used it on a ship. So we are taking a little artistic license and playing fast and loose with Dad’s SOS. We’re also low carb keto-ing the be-jas-us out of it, too! We think you’ll agree, SOS makes an awesome budget-friendly breakfast, lunch or dinner for the whole fam! (Um, but you might not want to make it every Thursday for 18 years, ok?)


Low Carb Keto SOS – (*stuff* on a shingle)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 4-6 Servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup

Calories per serving: 389

Fat per serving: 34g

Low Carb Keto SOS – (*stuff* on a shingle)

Creamy beefy goodness meets at the intersection of comfort and warm bellehs. If you love sausage gravy, you will adore SOS!


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted Kerrygold butter
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, whole (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped or pressed
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 4 fluid ounces Chardonnay–or extra dry vermouth (or more bone broth for an alcohol-free version)
  • 1 cup bone broth –or organic beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon glucomannan powder—or xanthan gum (or your fave low carb thickener)


  1. Combine first five ingredients in a large skillet or heavy Dutch oven and cook over medium high heat until beginning to soften (about 4 minutes). Crumble raw ground beef into veggie mixture. Add the next 6 ingredients through freshly chopped Italian parsley and sauté until beef is browned and veggies are tender. Transfer to a bowl and reserve. Discard the carrot. Make sure to get good, brown color, on the beef which equals “mas flavor!” If it sticks a little, no problem—more flavor for the gravy!
  2. Remove veggies and beef and turn heat to high. When pot is super-hot, toss in the dry white wine (any dry wine works, you can sub ½ cup additional bone broth if you don’t want to add the wine). Scrape bottom of pan with a spatula to loosen all the TBB (tasty brown bits), cooking on high the entire time. Let the liquid in the pan reduce by half.
  3. When the bottom of the pan is clean and sauce is reduce by half, return meat and veg to the pan with the beginnings of your gravy. Add 1 cup of bone broth. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Add cream, stir and turn heat to medium. Simmer SOS until cream thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings. If it needs to be thicker, continue to cook until it thickens. You can also add a little low carb thickener of your choice. Serve piping hot. Garnish with fresh, chopped Italian Parsley, if desired.


Dad went in search of re-creating the same SOS they were served on the ship during WWII. He never found it, but he never gave up on the dream of making a batch to equal it. The Fluffys have taken up the torch.

Serving Ideas Serve over split Keto Buns with a side of fried eggs. Don't forget the hot cup of Joe.

Nutritional Information Per 3/4 cup serving (1/4 Recipe): 582 Calories; 51g Fat (80.7% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 4g Effective Carbs

Per 1/2 cup serving (1/6 Recipe): 389 Calories; 34g Fat (80.6% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 3.5g Carbohydrate; 0.33g Dietary Fiber; 3,17g Effective Carbs

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  1. Grew up an army brat and loved “sh*t on a shingle”, only it was made with dried chipped beef, not hamburger. I haven’t had it in years, because it’s so very high carb. I’ve only recently learned to make low-carb breads, so I never tried to de-carb it. Now, it’s a mission. My Marine Corps hubby isn’t thrilled with the idea though.

    • Army SOS and Marine SOS is distinctly different. Army uses dried chipped beef, and the Marine version used hamburger. There’s a link to the in the blog post for the “origin” recipe. Dad loved it, so maybe modern SOS differed from the stuff from WWII. I do know from a friend’s dad who was a cook onboard a ship during WWII, that ship’s fare was far superior to stuff served elsewhere. 😀 Dunno, it was just what his dad told us, when he shared some of his recipe volumes from WWII.

      As you’re probably aware, the Fluffys’ have many, many bread and biscuit recipes – just scroll through the Recipe Index. Good luck! (We also use cream cheese sometimes, to thicken it up.)

  2. I am a Canadian and was born on D day I so appreciate the effort and tremendous call to duty that the American service personal made to defend our liberty. I was so proud of my own father and can fully understand the feeling of being so grateful to our fathers and mothers for what they did. I have a tremendous soft spot in my heart to all service personal who protect our freedom today thank you so much for letting me in on your Dads life God bless all there.

    • Thank you Paul and what a thoughtful and heart-felt note! Thank you for sharing. We share that same soft spot for all our brave service men and women who serve to keep us free. A freedom that isn’t free, but comes at great cost to so many!! God bless them all!

  3. Growing up an AF brat, we ate whatever was on sale art the commissary–Dad started his military career in the Army, and then transferred over to the AF at the first chance. His “cooking skills” (if I may be so bold here) were learned while in the Army (plenty of KP duty), and a lot of them were taught to me. Hubby marvels at my prowess in making potato salad (which we no longer eat), beans & ham (which we no longer eat), tuna salad, potato salad (which we eat weekly for resistant starch therapy), and Dad’s secret spice mix (I call it the “man-getter” mix).

    We grew up eating Anything on a Shingle.

    • What a great accounting and testament to your dad!!! Love the man-getter mix!!! Well I can attest to your cooking skills, girl!!! I believe I’ve visited your blog a time or two??! Would you share the links here?

  4. Can’t wait to try your SOS recipe out on my son next time he’s here for breakfast, with the keto buns! YUM
    Thanks for all you do =)

    • Hi Lita! Thanks for your sweet comment!! We’re happy to be able to help make your low carb keto life easier! Hope your son likes the SOS!!

  5. My version of Low Carb SOS for One: Brown 4 oz hamburger with some onions, add some salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Add 1 cup of cream or half & half. Add 2 oz of cream cheese. Add some water if too thick. Serve over fried eggs.
    My dad was a Marine and made SOS all the time. He served it over toast with fried eggs on top, with a side of fried diced potatoes. YUM YUM

    • Wow! That would be SOME meal for one person. I tucked your recipe into MasterCook, the program we use for recipe development. I plugged in 1/4 cup chopped onions and did not add a value for granulated garlic which makes the count lower because granulated garlic is carby.

      Per 1 serving of your recipe: 1322 Calories; 131g Fat (87.8% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 11g Effective Carbs.

      Semper Fi!

  6. We grew up eating a dish by the same name (Dad had spent some years in the Army) but ours was using chipped beef. Curious to try this. He & I were the only ones at home who like eating it. Can’t wait to try this.

    • Love the stories about how food creates common bonds and memories between family and friends!! Thank you for sharing about your daddy and you!


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