Dried beef is basically salted, dried slices of beef. It is to cold cuts what anchovies are to fish. It's typically sold in small glass jars under such brands as Armour.

Dried beef has a myriad of uses, including:

Backpacking food
Chipped beef on toast
Topping for crackers
and many, many more.

Chipped Beef on Toast


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1 (8 ounce) jar dried beef
1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour all at once to form a roux. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until thickened. Bring to a boil, stir in beef and cayenne, heat through and serve over toast.