Killing Them Softly: Chip Beef Pie


EDITOR’S NOTE: My recent discovery of our families’ collection of 1970s era church cookbooks has been nothing short of a conversation piece around Al Dente HQ. The kind-hearted and well-intentioned women behind these recipes set cooking back years, all the while trying to kill their families with butter, shortening and lard. Not wanting to hog the glory and splendor for myself, it is my pleasure to share these classic culinary gems with you. These are the original recipes with very little editing. If you have one of these around your house or find one at your parent’s home, please contact me. I would love to get my hands on it.

RECIPE: Chip Beef Pie
AUTHOR: Georgina Sciuga
COOKBOOK: Cecilian Style, the St. Cecelia’s Roman Catholic Church Cookbook

WHY DID I CHOOSE THIS? The title alone has my mouth watering. Not because it’s appetizing, but because I think I might vomit. In what universe was chipped — or chip, in this case — beef acceptable as cuisine?

This recipe embodies the entire era. It’s easy to prepare, full of salt and fat, and can feed the husband, wife, eight children (Catholics. Rhythm method dawg), and set of live-in grandparents for less than $5.

Chip Beef Pie

  • 2 1/2 oz. Armour dried beef
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1 5 oz. jar horseradish

Cut dried beef slices into small chips (as small as possible). Cream softened cream cheese, add beef chips and horseradish. If mixture is still thick, add one or two tablespoons of mayonnaise or enough for the right dip texture.


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