Roast Beef Po-Boys

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My Roast Beef Po-Boy is dripping with a debris gravy that’ll have you licking your fingers!

Roast Beef Po-Boys

I love sandwiches, and not many compare to a roast beef po-boy. There’s something special about tender shredded roast beef that is well seasoned and smothered in an amazing gravy.

I’m going to take you on a trip to the Big Easy (New Orleans, LA) with this roast beef po-boy. You’ll want to strap in once you have this fully dressed-sandwich. Your life will be changed forever.

The pot roast is the first thing we have to get right before making roast beef po-boys. With a successfully cooked pot roast, your roast beef will be part of the heavens. You can hear the angels sing when it’s cooked right.

I like to use an instant pot to make my pot roast because it saves me a lot of time. However, feel free to cook yours in a Dutch oven or slow cooker.

Roast Beef Po-Boys on a plate

What was the original po-boy?

A couple of stories are floating around about the origins of the New Orleans po-boy. The first mention of the term “poor boy” was coined by Madame Bégué, who ran a stand in the French Market in the late 1890s.

The term came about because African-American kids used to beg for sandwiches “for a poor boy” because they had no money.

Bennie and Clovis Martin claim that they coined the phrase during the streetcar strikes in 1929. They would serve free food to any poor boy or union member who came to their French Market stand.Oh, I need to add that John Gendusa bakery is the home of the original po boy bread. They were the bread suppliers for the Martin brothers. The irony is that Gendusa used his Sicilian heritage to create the famous French bread. You can still walk right up to the door and buy bread. This is where I would get my bread anytime I wanted to make po-boys at home or needed day ol’ bread for bread pudding.

Roast Beef Po-Boys in a hand

Key Ingredients

Before you start whipping up your roast beef po-boy, look at this list of ingredients to make sure you have everything you need.

Chuck Roast

Roast beef po-boys are always made with a chuck roast.

Seasonings

We’re going to make our own pot roast seasoning blend but will also use onions, celery, garlic, and bay leaves as aromatics.

Beef Broth

I love to use low-sodium beef broth whenever I make this recipe.

French Bread

French bread has a crisp crust with a delicate interior which separates it from hoagies, grinders, subs, or heroes.

Shredded Lettuce

You have to dress your sandwich, including tomato, mayonnaise, and shredded lettuce. I like adding pickles too.

Close up of Roast Beef Po-Boys on plate

How to Make Roast Beef Po Boy recipes?

I want you to have fun making this roast beef po-boy recipe, so I’m going to teach you some simple techniques to get the most flavorful, tender roast beef. Now, recipes are plural because the only thing that separates a debris po boy from a roast beef is how much you shred the beef.

Roast beef will have nice noticeable shredded meat, and debris will be finely shredded beef; think of the smaller pieces of beef that’ll be left floating in the gravy. So it’s up to you how much you shred your meat.

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin until smooth.

Step 2: Season chuck roast with ½ cup of pot roast seasoning evenly on all sides. Add oil to a 5-quart pot over medium heat oil is hot when flour bubbles when sprinkled in; add flour evenly over roast and shake off excess flour. Set aside 4 tablespoons of seasoned flour.

I like to use my stove to brown my roast and make my gravy because I can control the heat, unlike using the sauté function on my pressure cooker.

Step 3: Cook roast for 3 minutes on every side until golden brown. Set roast aside and stir in the seasoned flour until the roux turns peanut butter brown. Add onions, celery, and 2 teaspoons of pot roasting seasoning, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and bay leaves. Stir in beef broth and 1 teaspoon of seasoning, and bring to a boil.

Step 4: Add beef and gravy to the pressure cooker, cover, and cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the roast is fork tender. Release the pressure, place the roast on a platter, shred it with two forks, and tent it with foil.

Step 5: Turn the instant pot on, sauté for 15 minutes, and cook until the gravy has thickened.

Step 6: To assemble, spread ¼ cup of mayonnaise evenly over the top and bottom of the bread. On top of the bread, place the lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes. On the bottom of the bread, add the pot roast and gravy, close the sandwich and cut it in half or into smaller desired pieces. 

roast beef on po-boys

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are the best practices and flavor builders you’ll need to make delicious po boys at home.

  • I aim to cook every pound of chuck roast for 18-20 minutes of cooking time in a pressure cooker.
  • I like to use my stove to brown my roast and make my gravy because I can control the heat, unlike using the sauté function on my pressure cooker.
  • If you live outside of New Orleans, the closest thing to French bread can be found at your local Vietnamese restaurant, wherever they sell Bahi Mi sandwiches.
  • If you use salted beef broth, you may need to add water to your gravy to reduce the salt flavor.
  • You can use chicken stock instead of beef broth.
  • Use your favorite pot roast seasoning instead of mine.
  • When making your roux, you may need to adjust your heat if the roux is turning brown too fast.
  • Traditionally cheese is not added, but you can add provolone cheese or mozzarella to yours.
  • The phrase dressed means mayonnaise, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce will be added to your po boy.
  • If you cook your pot roast in a Dutch oven, cook for 3-4 hours over medium-low heat.
  • If you cook your pot roast in a slow cooker or crock pot, cook for 6-7 hours on low heat.
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roast beef on po-boys

FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about making roast beef po-boys.

What is New Orleans debris?

In New Orleans, we consider debris to be the scraps of meat leftover in the gravy from pot roast. It can be eaten over rice, on a sandwich like a po-boy, or used for a sauce for other meat.

What do you eat with po boys?

Typically french fries, onion rings, or potato chips are eaten with po-boys.

What makes a po boy a unique sandwich?

The French bread makes po-boy unique. New Orleans-style French bread has a delicate interior and crisp crust that adds flavor to the overall sandwich and is not a bland blank canvas for stuffing with meat.

Roast Beef Po-Boys

What meat is in a po-boy?

There are several types of meat that you can add to a po-boy. There is a famous one known as the “Peace Maker” made with fried oysters. You can also use fried shrimp, fried catfish, debris, hot sausage, and even potato and gravy.

How to store leftover roast beef po-boys

Pot roast is excellent the day of but even better the next day. Store in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.

Freeze in an airtight container for 3 months—Thaw before serving.  

Reheat pot roast in a pot over medium heat until hot; time varies depending on the amount being reheated. Then dress your bread to your liking and enjoy!

Roast Beef Po-Boys on a plate

More New Orleans Recipes

These New Orleans food recipes will surely please anyone who loves good eating!

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Before You Begin

Before getting started, here are the steps I use to get organized. 

Step 1: Get all ingredients and tools for the roast beef po boys on the counter.

Step 2: Put everything measured into individual bowls.

Step 3: Get ready to enjoy the best roast beef po-boys you’ve ever had by following this recipe.

If you’re ever in the mood for a fantastic sandwich, be sure to make my roast beef po-boy recipe. It’s dripping with deliciousness! If you give it a try, leave a comment and star rating if you do!

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Roast Beef Po-Boys on a plate

Roast Beef Po-Boys

Kenneth Temple
My Roast Beef Po-Boy is dripping with a debris gravy that'll have you licking your fingers!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 18 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cajun, Creole, New Orleans
Servings 12 persons
Calories 456 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pot Roast Seasoning:

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Pot Roast:

  • 3 ½ lbs. beef shoulder chuck roast
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped medium
  • 3 stalks celery chopped medium
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 10 oz. French bread halved
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce
  • 12 sliced dill pickles
  • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced ½ inch thick

Instructions
 

Pot Roast Seasoning:

  • In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.

Pot Roast:

  • Season chuck roast with ½ cup of pot roast seasoning evenly on all sides. Add oil to a 5-quart pot over medium heat oil is hot when flour bubbles when sprinkled in; add flour evenly over roast and shake off excess flour. Set aside 4 tablespoons of seasoned flour.
  • Cook roast for 3 minutes on every side until golden brown. Set roast aside and stir in the seasoned flour until the roux turns peanut butter brown. Add onions, celery, and 2 teaspoons of pot roasting seasoning, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and bay leaves. Stir in beef broth and 1 teaspoon of seasoning, and bring to a boil.
  • Add gravy and pot roast to the pressure cooker, cover, and cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Release the pressure, place the roast on a platter, shred it with two forks, and tent it with foil.
  • Turn the instant pot on sauté for 15 minutes, and cook until the gravy has thickened.
  • To assemble, spread ¼ cup of mayonnaise evenly over the top and bottom of the bread. On top of the bread, place the lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes. On the bottom of the bread, add the pot roast and gravy, close the sandwich and cut it into desired pieces.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are the best practices and flavor builders you’ll need to make delicious po boys at home.
  • I aim to cook every pound of chuck roast for 18-20 minutes of cooking time in a pressure cooker.
  • I like to use my stove to brown my roast and make my gravy because I can control the heat, unlike using the sauté function on my pressure cooker.
  • If you live outside of New Orleans, the closest thing to French bread can be found at your local Vietnamese restaurant, wherever they sell Bahi Mi sandwiches.
  • If you use salted beef broth, you may need to add water to your gravy to reduce the salt flavor.
  • You can use chicken stock instead of beef broth.
  • Use your favorite pot roast seasoning instead of mine.
  • When making your roux, you may need to adjust your heat if the roux is turning brown too fast.
  • Traditionally cheese is not added, but you can add provolone cheese or mozzarella to yours.
  • The phrase dressed means mayonnaise, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce will be added to your po boy.
  • If you cook your pot roast in a Dutch oven, cook for 3-4 hours over medium-low heat.
  • If you cook your pot roast in a slow cooker or crock pot, cook for 6-7 hours on low heat.
Storage: 
Pot roast is excellent the day of but even better the next day. Store in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge.
Freeze in an airtight container for 3 months—Thaw before serving.  
Reheat pot roast in a pot over medium heat until hot; time varies depending on the amount being reheated. Then dress your bread to your liking and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 456kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 31gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 2251mgPotassium: 707mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 613IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 5mg
Keyword new Orleans roast beef po boy, New Orleans style, po boy recipe roast beef, roast beef po boy, roast beef po boy recipes
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