Hey, folks. We’re going to continue our series of hard times and survival food. Now, we’ve done the Pan de Campo, and Hard Tack and Hot Water Cornbread,  and today we’re going to cook something that has pulled people through some hard times and the Great Depression. One of the ol’ traditional recipes, SOS. It calls for the basics just a little flour,  milk,  grease, a little meat topped on a piece of bread.  

Even though it’s simple, this will stick to your ribs and is good eating!

S.O.S. – Let’s Begin

So, we’re going to do this old-style just right on the coals. We have us a skillet on a tall trivet with some coal directly under it. We’re mounting them coals up pretty good. (By the way, you can get our trivets here!) We’re going to let that skillet get good and hot before we throw that meat on it.

SOS - Coals under the skillet.

Today, I have 1 pound of Certified Angus Beef, 80/20 blend.

Step 1:

Crumble the beef up on the warmed skillet. We’re going to let that meat brown a little and add half of a Vidalia onion (or yellow onion) in there. At this point go ahead and season it a little with salt and pepper or our go-to seasoning here: Red River Ranch Original.

SOS - Brown meat with onions.

Step 2:

Remove the contents from the skillet, leaving any grease and add 5 tablespoons of butter and let it melt.

Step 3:

When the butter has melted, I’m going to add 4 tablespoons of flour. We don’t want it to burn, so I’m going to take it off of fire and make the roux of this. Just try to mash the lumps out of it and keep stirring until it’s smooth over a low heat. 

SOS - Make roux.

Step 4:

When the roux is done, add 2 cups of milk. At this point crank it to a medium heat and keep stirring until you get any lumps out. I also like to give it another seasoning with our Red River Ranch or salt and pepper. 

Step 5:

Add the meat to the gravy mixture and keep cooking until the gravy thickens.  You want the consistency to be thick enough it will stay on a piece of bread or biscuit. If you get to the point where you think it is getting too thick, you can add some more milk.

SOS - Let it thinken.

Step 6:

This is probably the easiest step. While it’s cooking, toast or grill you some bread. This can be any type of bread you like: biscuit, white bread, wheat bread, sourdough, etc. However I will tell you, our favorite is to use a Texas Toast garlic bread- it really enhances the flavor and we just buy the frozen kind for an easy meal. 


SOS - Toast bread.

Now all you have to do is spoon that mixture on top of the bread and you’ve got a hearty meal that got folks through tough times. It’s still good today as it was then. 

Enjoy SOS!

Visit us in camp as we put together this classic dish in the video below! 


S.O.S. - Cowboy Kent Rollins


  • 1 lb. ground beef Certified Angus Beef preferred
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Red River Ranch Original Seasoning or salt and pepper
  • 4 slices thick-cut bread or garlic bread toasted


  1. In a large cast iron skillet, begin browning the beef over medium-high heat. As it begins to cook, stir in the onion until the beef has completely browned and the onions are tender. Season to taste with Red River Ranch Original or salt and pepper. Drain any grease if needed.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a spatula until smooth. Slowly pour in the milk. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens to a gravy. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the gravy mixture into the hamburger skillet and stir to combine. Continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more milk, if needed, if the mixture becomes too thick.
  4. Evenly spoon the mixture over the slices of bread and serve immediately.